Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza gave credit to former head coach Chandika Hathurusingha for the Tigers’ recent rise in world cricket but also reserved praise for the players who played in the field to achieve success for the country.
Hathurusingha resigned from the Bangladesh coach’s post a few months ago and was later appointed Sri Lanka head coach. The Lankans are currently touring Bangladesh to take part in the tri-nation ODI series.
When Mashrafe was queried about Hathurusingha’s achievements, he said, “Our dressing room has a large heart. On behalf of the Bangladesh players, I salute Hathurusingha. We got success playing under him. I have no problem in giving him credit but we did execute it in the 22 yards. The coach didn’t have to do anything special to Tamim [Iqbal], Mushfiqur [Rahim], Shakib [al Hasan] or Mustafizur [Rahman]. They did it themselves, and ultimately took on the pressure,” Mashrafe said to the media during the pre-match press conference at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Sunday.
“When Mahmudullah made that hundred against New Zealand, I don’t think anyone had to guide him through that innings. He performed according to his ability.
“We backed the coach 100%, and we will keep backing the current coaching staff – Richard Halsall, [Khaled Mahmud] Sujon chacha. They are going to do the same, with full professionalism. But good luck to Hathu. We are more concerned about ourselves right now.
“It is good to be smart in cricket, but not over-smart. Hathurusingha will have his plans but so will we. If we can execute our plans, I am sure we can offer something new. There may be risks but we will still try to do that,” he added.
Bangladesh will face a tough challenge in the upcoming series and the captain believes pressure can bring out the best in his players.
“There is always pressure when you are playing for your country. It is a good thing, because the best performance comes out in a pressure situation. But I think many of our players have played under more intense pressure. We didn’t get what we wanted from our last tour but I am hopeful that we will be able to execute better this time,” explained Mashrafe.
“The dressing room is mostly relaxed. We don’t have the pressure we have felt in the past. I don’t want them to be too relaxed because sometimes nervous energy can bring out the best in a player inside the field,” he added.