Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan rued the absence of experienced players.© AFP
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan on Wednesday rued the absence of experienced players like Liton Das, but said they have enough quality in their ranks to paper over their unavailability in the Asia Cup. Bangladesh will face six-time and defending champion Sri Lanka on Thursday. But they will be without veterans like Das, Tamim Iqbal and Ebadot Hosain, all ruled out due to different reasons. While Das could not recover in time from viral fever, Iqbal and Hosain are injured.
“Of course, it (absence of veteran players) is a big miss. If you talk about Liton, he has been part of the team for the last four or five years, and he was doing consistently well for Bangladesh.
“But having said that this will give an opportunity to someone else and I hope they make full use of this opportunity,” Shakib said here during the pre-match press conference.
Shakib hoped that young players like Towhit Hridoy, who was a part of Bangladesh’s U-19 World Cup winning side in 2020, will put their hands up in the Asia Cup.
“As far as Towhit is concerned he is really playing well for us this year. He has done well in the recent LPL (Lanka Premier League) and that should give him a lot of confidence going into the Asia Cup. He is going to play for Bangladesh for a long time,” said Shakib.
Over the years, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have constructed a heated rivalry between them, and instances like ‘Nagin Dance’ added colour to it.
In 2018, Bangladesh bowler Nazmul Islam celebrated the Lankan wickets with ‘Nagin Dance’ and later it became a flash point between the two teams and the fans.
However, Shakib was focusing more on the match and giving a good account of themselves in the Asia Cup.
“It is important to have a calm dressing room. I don’t think of it as a rivalry. But whenever these two teams are playing, we play very good cricket, which is good for fans and the broadcaster.
“But yes, playing Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka is a tough test, and we want to play good cricket,” he said.
Shakib said Bangladesh will have an eye on the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023, but their main focus will be to play well in the Asia Cup.
“As any other team, we are also looking at the World Cup. Having said that, the Asia Cup itself is a big tournament and we are taking this very seriously.
“A good outing here will give us a lot of confidence in the build up to the World Cup,” he added.
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