Bangladesh is known for poverty, famine, annoying traffic, floods and political turmoil, but all these negativities are forgotten temporarily when the national team does creditably in the international cricket scene. The time has come again for this nation to receive the attention of the sporting globe with the hosting of the Asia Cup from February 24 to March 6.
This edition of the Asia Cup will take the form of a T20. This leaves cricket fans a little disappointed because the Asia Cup in the past gave spectators the right amount of cricket to digest on a single day with its original 50 overs per side matches
Just a few days ago, Bangladesh won praise for winning the third place play-off in the Under-19 World Cup. What made this win so memorable was that Bangladesh made its cricket crazy citizens proud as the tournament’s host. The spotlight is on them again and apart from compiling their best team to contest the tournament, Bangladesh has to live up to expectations of ICC as a host nation.
All the captains of the participating teams, baring India, have concerns regarding form. This is what makes the tournament so exciting because teams like Bangladesh have that chance to perform on their day, just like the fifth team that will be picked from a qualifier that features Afghanistan, Oman and Hong Kong.
India have the edge over the others, given that they are cock-a-hoop after handing current T20 World Champs Sri Lanka a 2-1 defeat in a recent T20 series. Skipper M.S Doni has already aired his views and said that he feels consistency is the key to success in the long run. Naturally any captain will think long term given that the international cricket calendar is chocked with tournaments and the World T20 tournament is also scheduled to commence just after the Asia Cup.
This edition of the Asia Cup will take the form of a T20. This leaves cricket fans a little disappointed because the Asia Cup in the past gave spectators the right amount of cricket to digest on a single day with its original 50 overs per side matches. But this shortest form of international cricket has been looked upon as the way forward by television stations and business companies associated with cricket because fans are getting busier at work and they have little time to devote to watching cricket.
Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza has made an interesting statement which will help the host nation’s national team get the best out of the Asia Cup acquiring its new feature of now being a 20 overs per side affair. He has said that Bangladesh is yet to be sure of their footing in the T20 format of the game.
Sri Lankan skipper Dinesh Chandimal has been quoted in the international media that his team needs to reflect on not playing well during ‘power play’ in the series against India. The ‘Lions’ might be able to make that difference with talented future players like Dushmantha Chameera, Dasun Shanaka and Kasun Rajitha being named in the side.
Pakistan is ruing the loss against New Zealand in a T20 series. Skipper Shahid Afridi has urged his team to raise their game and has predicted a tough Asia Cup for his players this time.
This is the time of the year when Bangladesh experiences a hot and humid summer. The heat is going to be scorching and all the visitors to this country will have to put up with seeing the roads polluted with muck, dead chicken and dirt. But despite the gloom, the country’s tourism has prospered due to a growing middle class. Cricket fans from Asia are sure to find the beaches, hills, wildlife and waterfalls inviting in case there are days when the cricket played out there isn’t entertaining. And an old Tourist Board slogan which read ‘Come before the tourists visit’ gives an indication that goods and services associated with the country’s tourism in Bangladesh is cheap. This is indeed good news for cricket fans who are going to Bangladesh.