Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal is excited with the new format of the 2019 World Cup. According to the new and somewhat controversial format, a side have to face all the nine participating teams in order to qualify for the semi-final stage of the ICC flagship event.
Left-handed batsman Tamim feels to emerge as a champion, a side will have to perform consistently, and only the best team will progress to the business stage of the competition, which makes the tournament exciting.
“Personally I am excited. We will get the opportunity to play against all the Test-playing nations and the lone Associate team in the shape of Afghanistan. The format is such that a team will have to perform throughout the tournament to become champion and work really hard,” said Tamim to the media at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Saturday.
“The format is challenging and I am looking forward to the tournament. In a group-based competition, you can calculate how many matches you have to win and qualify for the next stage by winning just one or two games. But here, a team will have to win at least five to six matches and it is a big challenge. We still have a year before the World Cup in 2019 so we need to make the best use of the time and win the games prior to that,” he added.
Bangladesh’s search for a new head coach is still ongoing. The BCB has been in discussions with the potential candidates since the post went vacant in November last year after Chandika Hathurusingha resigned.
Since then, Bangladesh have been guided by interim coach Courtney Walsh, under whom the Tigers played the final of the Nidahas T20I tri-nation series in March in Colombo.
When queried if not finding a coach is a worry with the World Cup a year away, Tamim said, “Honestly I am liking the fact that the board is not hurrying into signing a coach. They always had the option to sign anyone but they are not doing that, rather they are trying to find the best possible option for the team.
“It is really important to have a coach who can meet the demands of the team. As far as the team for the World Cup is concerned, I believe we will have a squad formed with the current players which you are seeing in the dressing room now. They are mentally ready and know that they will have to play in foreign conditions (in England and Wales). The current coaching staff is working keeping that in mind.”
As per the new ICC FTP (Future Tours Programme) approved in the ICC board meeting last week, Bangladesh have a massive schedule up ahead in the next five years. If all the matches are played in accordance with the newly-set FTP, the Tigers will play more matches than they have played in the last 10 years.
Tamim finds the ICC decision a positive one and credited the board and the players for the achievement in getting more games in the FTP.
“The team have performed really well over the past few years. Things become easy when the team perform well. I hope to be with the team for the next five years and play as many matches as possible,” Tamim concluded.