Bangladesh – Bangladesh is looking to dampen the disappointment of the humiliating test loss to Afghanistan by winning the Twenty20 tri-series involving Afghanistan and Zimbabwe.
The 224-run loss to test cricket‘s newest team last week has put Bangladesh on high alert. Under fire from home fans, the team is determined to win the trophy to get the critics off their backs, captain Shakib Al Hasan says.
Bangladesh opens against Zimbabwe on Friday in Dhaka.
“We need to win the first T20 match,” Shakib said. “If we can do that then we will have the chance to bring everything under control.”
The three teams meet each other twice. The final is on Sept. 24.
Afghanistan is the higher ranked T20 team, being seventh in the world. Bangladesh is 10th and Zimbabwe 14th.
Bangladesh has a 1-3 record against Afghanistan in T20s, and 5-4 against Zimbabwe.
Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo said they are also using the tri-series to prepare for the World T20 in Australia next year.
While Bangladesh played the test match without a pacer, Domingo said they will groom fast bowlers for T20s with Australian conditions in mind.
“You need to play some fast bowlers,” Domingo said. “That’s really important. And with the World Cup in Australia, there is no doubt you need them.”
Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza declined to comment on his team’s suspension from International Cricket Council events.
The ICC in July suspended Zimbabwe for government interference in the sport. The suspension cost Zimbabwe a place in the World T20 qualifier, as it was replaced by Nigeria.
The decision meant ICC funding to Zimbabwe Cricket is frozen, and all national teams aren’t allowed to participate in ICC events.
“Obviously, a lot of things have happened but that’s all behind the scenes,” said Masakadza, who is retiring from cricket after the tri-series.
“As cricketers, our job is to get on the field and play our best. That’s how we are judged. (The suspension is) happening to the board.”