Friday, June 21, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Hathurusingha: Bangladesh eye realistic WC semi-final spot 

Bangladesh have yet to reach the last 4 in their 6 WC appearances

Update : 09 Oct 2023, 09:07 PM

Bangladesh head into their World Cup opener against Afghanistan Saturday with coach Chandika Hathurusingha saying a place in the semi-finals is a "realistic" goal for his side.

Hathurusingha was criticized by former captain Tamim Iqbal for a lack of ambition when he said in a recent interview that those who talked about Bangladesh winning the World Cup should "wake up".

But he told reporters at a pre-match press conference Friday: "We all want to win the World Cup but as you rightly asked me realistically is that if we win four to five games, we give ourselves a chance to get into the semi-final of the knockout stage - that's our first aim."

Questioned about his "dream" remarks, Hathurusingha said he was trying to reduce the stress on his squad.

"My job is to take the pressure off the players," he explained.

Bangladesh have yet to reach the last four in their six World Cup appearances.

But a couple more wins at the 2019 edition in England could have seen them into the knockout phase.

And with this year's World Cup using the same format - where all 10 teams play each other to decide the semi-finalists - Hathurusingha believes his side, playing in familiar conditions, can go where no Tigers side have gone before.

"I think we have a good enough team to do that - our first aim is to getting to the semi-final stage," he said.

The 55-year old former Sri Lanka batsman added: "People can dream, people can aim, people can have goals. Whatever the word you use, it is the same thing. 

"We're trying to have a good World Cup and win matches. That's the main aim for me...Our aim is to get into the semi-final, that can be a dream or can be an aim - doesn't matter."

Bangladesh go into this tournament without Tamim after dropping the only Tigers batsman to score centuries in all three formats of the game.

But the squad contains several members of Bangladesh's victorious Under-19 World Cup-winning team, including Tanzid Hasan Tamim, Towhid Hridoy and Tanzim Hasan Sakib.

"They will bring so much positivity to the group, because they have done it in the past and bring a lot of energy," said Hathurusingha.

"And I'm excited for the whole team and even for my staff, because the World Cup for everybody is every four years and this is one of the biggest events in the International Cricket Council calendar and we all have high hopes and want to enjoy it."

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