Salma Khatun-led Bangladesh team will enter the Women’s World T20 in the Caribbean with a lot of self-belief courtesy the newfangled success they have enjoyed in 2018.
A T20I series win against Ireland in Ireland, claiming a historic and maiden Asia Cup title in June, where they took down six-time champions India twice and two-time runner up Pakistan in the multi-nation tournament, and then winning the ICC Women’s World T20 Qualifiers in the Netherlands, showcases their rise as a cricketing force.
Bangladesh booked their ticket in the World T20 after winning the Qualifiers where they did not lose a single match and will be looking to carry the confidence from the feeder tournament into the main event.
Experienced skipper Khatun said,"If we play to our potential, this is a good chance for us. We have a fine spin attack and see an opportunity on the pitches of the West Indies, which may provide some help to the slow bowlers too," in a column for the ICC.
Form leading into 2018 WC:
Although Bangladesh have had an outstanding calendar year with the aforementioned victories, however they failed to register a single victory against Pakistan at home in the four-match T20I series – losing three games and with one match being abandoned due to wet outfield – the last international series they played in, before flying to the West Indies. Albeit they won the only One Day International ODI) they played against Pakistan. Bangladesh were completely outplayed by South Africa going down in eight fixtures (5 ODIs and 3 T20Is) in May when they toured the Rainbow Nation.
However, Bangladesh Women's cricket benefited with the change in the coaching staff. Former India wicket-keeper Anju Jain took over as the head coach from David Capel in May and the team blossomed as they went on win tournaments like the Asia Cup and the World T20 Qualifiers.
History in the WT20:
Bangladesh made their first appearance in the 2014, where they finished at the bottom of their group, likewise in the following WT20 in 2016. In 2009, 2010 and 2012, only eight teams participated in the event, before the introduction of the Qualifiers, which allowed Bangladesh and Ireland to join the party from 2014.
Player(s) to watch out for:
Bangladesh will bank heavily on their spin department for success in the West Indies for which all-rounder Rumana Ahmed and off spinner Khadija Tul Kubra, will be expected to play a big role.
Rumana is Bangladesh’s leading wicket-taker in the shortest format and will be looking to exploit the conditions in the Caribbean. Partnering the leg spinner will be Khaija, who recently became the first Bangladesh spinner to claim a five-wicket haul in women’s ODI, where she flummoxed six Pakistan players, to register the best bowling figures for her nation.
Captain Khatun is an effective bowler herself. Behind Rumana, she is credited with 44 T20I wickets with her career economy below five (4.91).
Batting responsibility will be shouldered by Fargana Haque and Shamima Sultana, the two players are the only women from Bangladesh to have registered half-centuries in T20Is. Thirty-year old Shamima is an experienced batswoman and her role will be to provide a good start at the top of the order, along with fellow opener Ayesha Rahman.
Whilst Fahima Khatun and all-rounder Rumana will be responsible for injecting impetus in Bangladesh’s innings.
Despite not having a lot of success in two World T20s they took part in, this year could well be different for the emerging force in Women’s cricket. While they do possess the potential of pulling off an upset the prowess of teams like Windies, England and South Africa might prove a mountain to big to scale. However, the Asian champions would have a realistic chance of beating their continental rival Sri Lanka and with the unpredictable nature of T20 cricket, the Bangladesh side would fancy their chances of taking down another giant.
09 November at Guyana: Windies vs Bangladesh
12 November at St Lucia: England vs Bangladesh
14 November at Gros Islet: Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh
18 November at Gros Islet: South Africa vs Bangladesh
Squad: Salma Khatun (captain), Rumana Ahmed, Jahanara Alam, Fargana Haque, Khadija Tul Kubra, Fahima Khatun, Ayesha Rahman, Shamima Sultana, Nahida Akter, Panna Ghosh, Ritu Moni, Sanjida Islam, Nigar Sultana, Lata Mondol, Sharmin Akter Supta
Standby: Sharmin Sultana, Suraiya Azmin, Shaila Sharmin, Sultana Khatun