• Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019
  • Last Update : 02:27 am

Mashrafe urges to forget hype, keep focus

  • Published at 10:30 pm June 1st, 2019
Mashrafe
Bangladesh's Mashrafe bin Mortaza bowls during training in London Saturday Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik from London

The skipper is well aware about the expectation but trying to smother the pressure

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza said too much expectation can exert extra pressure for the team and called his players to focus on their game rather than thinking too much about hype or expectation.

Bangladesh cricket saw a revolutionary transformation since the last World Cup as the side, which used to be a perennial loser, humbled many big teams frequently. 

The Tigers, who reached their first ever quarter-final in the World Cup 2015, won eight bilateral ODI series, reached finals in several multi-national tournaments and in the last month won their first multi-nation ODI series title beating the West Indies thrice in Ireland.

Bangladesh have been on tour for almost a month before the World Cup and winning the tri-series has certainly given confidence to the team to perform well in the flagship ICC event.

The side also feature some experienced players in the ODI arena like Mashrafe, Shakib al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah and the fans believe they may get all the way to the top four of the tournament. 

In the cricket-frenzy nation, some are even envisaging Mashrafe holding the silverware at Lord’s after the final. 

The skipper is well aware about the expectation but trying to smother the pressure.

“About the hype, we need to understand that whether it’s necessary or unnecessary for the team. May be some fans are reacting like we will reach the semi-final easily or we will win the World Cup,” said Mashrafe.

“I think that’s an unnecessary pressure. From nowhere, we are favorite to win this tournament. If you consider wickets, conditions, opponent’s strength; we are not favorite or in an advanced stage compared to our opposition in any way. Even if you consider our first match opponent South Africa, obviously they are favorite to win against us,” said Mashrafe during the pre-match press conference at the Oval in London Saturday.

But at the same time, Bangladesh’s most successful captain believes they have made very good preparation, albeit having some minor injuries, and he expressed hope his side can win matches. 

“I believe we have taken preparation for the World Cup in the best possible way. Maybe we are facing some injuries, but I hope every player will be fit on time for the tournament. Some players are facing some niggles, it’s true. But that’s part of the game, often players take part in matches with such niggles,” he said. 

“But that does not mean that we can’t win matches here. We have come here to win matches. We have prepared ourselves to win games and qualify for the semi-final. From every point of view, we believe we can win [Sunday's] match,” said the skipper.

 

Mashrafe also said many teams are aware of their meteoric improvement but he expressed hope that the pressure would stay with the opponents, rather than bringing the Tigers down. 

“But if you are pointing about creating extra hype, then we have to realize that we are not in that position yet. If you see the cricket analysts all over the world, then you will see many of them preferring other opponents than us. But maybe our fans are fighting with our own expectation and creating a war of words about those predictions,” he explained. 

He also pointed out that less expectation often allows players playing freely and hence, brings the best output and he urged his players to focus on the game rather than think too much about the final outcome of the tournament. 

“The expectation was less in the 2015 World Cup, this time it’s higher. It is good, to be honest, to be expecting something positive, particularly the way we have played our games in the last few years. Expectation sometimes extracts the best from a player. But also, it can create extra pressure as well. So as a captain, I expect from my players to not concentrate on what the expectation is, rather focus on their own game, and role, to win matches for Bangladesh,” Mashrafe concluded.