“You know, we have been waiting to play this tournament for the last two and a half years. We achieved it and qualified for the tournament. We are here now and we can’t just let this opportunity go by,” opening batsman Tamim Iqbal told Dhaka Tribune while walking out of Kennington Oval after completing the official press conference on Monday.
The excitement and long wait of the senior members of the Bangladesh team for this flagship event says it all. From the seniors to the junior members of the Bangladesh team, the 2017 Champions Trophy has been one of the most awaited events in recent times.
Although Tamim, all-rounder Shakib al Hasan, wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim and batsman Mahmudullah did have the opportunity to play around the world during their long career, youngsters like Mehedi Hasan Miraz, pacer Mustafizur Rahman, batsmen Mosaddek Hossain and Sabbir Rahman and even opener Soumya Sarkar will get the golden opportunity to showcase their potential in the biggest stage.
Tamim said the youngsters are really keen to prove their worth and informed that they are tapping into the minds of the seniors to learn more about the pitches, conditions and opponent bowlers.
“Look, it’s a huge opportunity for the youngsters to prove their mettle in these type of world events. Even before coming into the Champions Trophy, a few of the youngsters, such as Soumya, often came to me to know about my experience playing in these conditions and pitches,” said Tamim before adding, “I am sure all the other young members of the side will get in touch with the senior members at various points. We the seniors are always there to help them.”
After entering the ground, the body language and approach of the Bangladesh players, especially the youngsters, were something to watch for as they were enjoying every second of training at Kennington Oval on Monday.
With such an important tournament like the Champions Trophy knocking at the door, it's important not only for the seniors but also the junior members to take up the responsibility in various situations in order to achieve a proper outcome.
“Look, it's not only the five senior players who play for Bangladesh. The youngsters are also there as it’s a team game. Both seniors and juniors have to play as a unit but I do admit that experience will play a big role in such big events. I truly believe our youngsters have the ability to give their best against any opponent,” he said.
The youngsters might have butterflies in their stomach but Tamim said they are there to make things easier for them, which will no doubt stand Bangladesh in good stead in the marquee ICC event.