The ICC Champions Trophy featuring the top eight teams ended with the magic of Pakistan, the pre-tournament underdogs, reaching the summit for the first time in its history by beating pre-tournament favourites India in a one-sided final on Sunday at The Oval. The rain, runs and the mastery of Pakistan bowling have marked the tournament and in the end Pakistan once again revived their inimitable style of 'making the impossible possible'.
“It was a fantastic tournament.” Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal came up with a straightforward answer when asked about the just concluded ICC Champions Trophy. “And it ended in amazing style. It was a typical Pakistan campaign, making a brilliant turnaround from their defeat in the first match to become champions. It's very difficult to explain their performance because you never know which Pakistan will show up on a given day. Simply unbelievable,” continued the left-hander who was the only Bangladesh player to get a place in the ICC's Team of the Champions Trophy.
“The top eight teams took part in the tournament and no one had any scope to be relaxed, which was the real beauty of this tournament. We feel proud that in such a quality competition we were among the top four sides,” said Tamim.
TIGERS SLIP TO SEVENTH
Pakistan's extraordinary show however took Bangladesh to number seven in the rankings despite a rise in ranking points. The question about the rankings' relevance however remained after Pakistan romped to victory even though they were the lowest-ranked side coming into the event.
“We cannot demean the rankings only because of Pakistan's turnaround from number eight. The ranking is a result of your consistent performance throughout the year and it has special value as it recognises the consistency in your performance,” explained Tamim.
“But as a team we can learn a lesson from Pakistan's success, which is that if they can make it then why not our team? If we can do the right things then it is also possible for us to do something like that,” he added.
The ICC's 12-member team was selected by a jury of cricket experts where Tamim got a place in the number three position for his 293 runs in the tournament but still the left-hander was looking forward to much better batting in the future.
“I cannot stop here if I want to go ahead. I believe I will need to improve more if I want to take one step forward from my current form,” said Tamim.
The Chittagonian also believed that every member of the Bangladesh team understands the need for further improvement.
“Without any doubt it was a big achievement to get to the semifinals for the first time. But we could have done a little bit better than what we did in the tournament. I believe one thing that all 15 members can understand after the tournament is that we need to learn from this event and that we need to better our performance if we want to go one step ahead,” he concluded.