ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Bangladesh must play with freedom and confidence, says Habibul Bashar

FP Sports, Jun, 09 2017

Former Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar has urged the Tigers to set aside their disappointing Champions Trophy campaign and give a fearless performance against New Zealand and seal the semi-final spot. A win over the mighty Black Caps in their final Group A fixture in Cardiff will put Bangladesh in the last-four should England beat Australia in the other fixture on Saturday.

File image of Mashrafe Mortaza. Getty Images

File image of Mashrafe Mortaza. Getty Images

"Bangladesh haven't had a great run in the competition so far, but they have the opportunity to put their disappointing performances behind them. The one standout feature of their campaign thus far has been the lack of consistency," wrote Bashar on icc.cricket.com.

The 44-year-old wants the players to take inspiration from Bangladesh's famous win at the same venue 12 years ago against a strong Australian side. In that match, Bashar scored 47 to stitch together 130 runs for the fifth wicket with centurion Mohammad Ashraful to register a historic win.

"In those days, we hardly played the big boys on a regular basis, therefore, that stunning win over a full-strength and very intimidating Australian team will remain one of the highest points in Bangladesh cricket," he said.

"The batting was fairly good in the first game against England, but the bowling was a big letdown. In the second match against Australia, with the exception of Tamim Iqbal, the batting failed to rise to the occasion, but the bowling was reasonably disciplined. Had that match gone the distance, there is every possibility that Australia would have still scaled down the modest target, but the washout has given Bangladesh a theoretical chance at making it to the next stage, and it must now marry its good fortune with good skills," he added.

Bangladesh's chances of qualification are slim and with nothing to lose now, Bashar hopes to see Bangladesh play their best game of the competition with a free mind and come out victorious.

Published Date: Jun 09, 2017 | Updated Date: Jun 09, 2017

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4579 114
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115