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‘Tigers capable of reaching WC semis’

  • Published at 09:18 pm April 25th, 2019
Mushfiq
Mushfiqur Rahim and Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes during training in Mirpur Thursday Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

Steve Rhodes made his claim based on the Tigers’ development in 50-over cricket in recent times

Bangladesh cricket team head coach Steve Rhodes strongly believes his charges have all the ability to play the “knockout stage” (semi-final) of the World Cup 2019. 

The former English cricketer made his claim based on the Tigers’ development in 50-over cricket in recent times.

Bangladesh emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the format after qualifying for the quarter-final of the World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand. 

The graph leaped in the coming years, which included Bangladesh playing the semi-final in the Champions Trophy 2017 in England, and the final of the Asia Cup 2018 in the UAE.  

“Let us be brutally honest. There are some very good teams going to the World Cup. For Bangladesh to do well, it will be tough. But I do know that a lot of these countries respect Bangladesh,” said Rhodes to the media Thursday.

“They [the opposition teams] know that if they have an off day or even play well, Bangladesh are capable of beating sides. We have proved that in the past. Before I arrived [in June, 2018], we got through the Champions Trophy. We have beaten the West Indies in a couple of series. We can beat the top teams but we have to play our best, especially if we want to play in the knockout stages. Are we capable? Yes,” the former wicketkeeper-batsman added.

The Bangladesh cricketers are now busy preparing for the upcoming tri-nation ODI series in Ireland, followed by the 10-nation World Cup in England and Wales.

“I see the Ireland tri-series as build-up for the World Cup. We will be playing ODIs against Ireland and the West Indies but it will be an opportunity to mix and match a little bit of the team. Tamim [Iqbal] spoke along these lines – rest an odd player, give somebody a chance, give them some confidence. Hopefully win games, the tri-series will be great to win. We will go to Ireland wanting to win but this is all part of the preparation phase. When we get to the World Cup, we will be one of the 10 teams wanting to win it,” said Rhodes.