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Our worst World Cup performance: Bangladesh skipper

Source: PTI
Last updated on: October 29, 2023 11:36 IST
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'We have been poor with the bat all tournament and this is as bad as it gets'

Shakib Al Hassan

IMAGE: Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan said the team was "underprepared" and his fallout with former captain Tamim Iqbal may have "affected" the players' showing in the World Cup. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

A chaotic buildup could be the reason for Bangladesh’s "worst ever" World Cup campaign, lamented skipper Shakib Al Hasan, after they cut a sorry figure in an 87-run defeat to the Netherlands and suffered their fifth loss on the trot in Kolkata on Saturday.

Chasing a small target of 230 runs, Bangladesh folded inside 43 overs, scoring a mere 142 to see their World Cup campaign as good as over.


"You can definitely say that (it's Bangladesh's worst World Cup performance). I won't disagree," Shakib said, in the post-match media interaction.

"I don't have an answer as to why we played this way. We were sloppy in the field. We bowled brilliantly. We haven't batted the way we can bat throughout the tournament.

"It is a big concern. Today was another day when we totally gave the Dutch the two points. It is hard to swallow. It is very difficult to digest."

Faced with persistent questions from Bangladeshi journalists, Shakib made a candid admission that the team was "underprepared" and his fallout with former captain Tamim Iqbal may have "affected" the side.

"It could be," Shakib said when asked if Tamim's exclusion affected the team.

"It is not unusual. I don't know what's in everyone's heart. I don't disagree with you. It may have had an effect."

Tamim, the only Bangladeshi batter to have centuries in all the three formats, made a shock retirement in July only to reverse his decision at the request of the country's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The 34-year-old played the opening two matches before taking a break in the final match of their home series against New Zealand in the build-up to the World Cup.

He was dropped from the Shakib-led World Cup squad and their fallout was out in the open when the skipper criticized the senior batter's fitness in a televised interview.

"It is quite natural for the plans to change when the captain and coach change. It is difficult to keep the same plan. It can be a good or bad plan.

"Everyone has a different thinking. We don't know what's wrong and right. It is difficult for me to say why our performance didn't reflect how we played before.

"Yes, we were very underprepared. But now actually giving these excuses will not help much. But, obviously, we were underprepared," said Shakib.

Shakib, however, believes that Bangladesh's current performance in the World Cup does not reflect their overall capabilities.

"We are not this bad a team. It could be the World Cup or this atmosphere, high expectations. It could be a lot of other things. We must find out, but if we work on it, we might find the answers."

Twenty-four years after they made their World Cup debut, Bangladesh are yet to make the semi-finals.

When posed with this question, Shakib said: "You might be asking the wrong person. If I were to say, there would be a chance if we made a lot of changes. But I don't think it's the right time to say that now.

"It's definitely disappointing. At least the way the people of our country like cricket, the way everyone is focused on cricket, we should have done better than this."

He further said their World Cup build-up was not challenging enough.

"Team gets confidence after winning games regardless of conditions. We lost to England and Afghanistan recently. We won two series against Ireland. We haven't done well in the Asia Cup, if you leave aside the India win. We have underperformed in this World Cup too.

"We were here with high expectations. We couldn't meet our expectations, and from there on, I thought we are struggling with our confidence in both departments."

'Deserved to be booed by fans'

The loss to the Dutch was especially humiliating for Bangladesh as they found themselves at 'home' in Eden Gardens that witnessed thousands of fans from the neighbouring country.

Shakib got out for five off 14 balls and as he was walking back to the pavilion, the premier all-rounder was booed by fans.

He was also jeered at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka when he went there for a brief training session with his personal mentor, Nazmul Abedeen, ahead of the match against the Netherlands.

"They actually expect something good. So, naturally, if that doesn't happen, they also have the right to say as they like. So I don't have any complaints about them. I think the way we played, we deserve this."

Bangladesh have just a win against Afghanistan in this edition of the World Cup. They next face Pakistan at the same venue on Tuesday, before taking on Sri Lanka and Australia in their last two matches.

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