Tigers dreaming of ‘special outcome’
A festive atmosphere pervaded at Mirpur's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday as the current and former national cricketers enjoyed moments with the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 trophy, on its second day of the three-day tour in Bangladesh.
Excitement was in abundance from the youngsters. Shamim Hossain, for instance, could not resist himself from kissing the World Cup trophy before the photoshoot.
Veterans Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad were seen posing for pictures with the World Cup trophy, showing that experienced campaigners were not far behind in terms of having enthusiasm.
Earlier, an animated Mushfiqur carried the trophy to stadium premises. Behind his huge smile, the experienced cricketer may have masked his long-held desire to lift the World Cup for Bangladesh.
Mushfiqur will be featuring in his fifth ODI World Cup, in what could most likely be his final appearance at the marquee event. The same goes for Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and Riyad.
The 36-year-old, dreaming of something special in the upcoming World Cup, highlighted that Bangladesh's vast experience could prove to be a vital factor this time around.
"Obviously, experience is a big factor but, no matter how good you are in pen and paper, you have to play better cricket on the given day. Most importantly, I am lucky to have played in the last four World Cups and if I get the opportunity, I will try to make it even more special, in terms of result compared to the previous four occasions," Mushfiqur said.
"We have the strength and we have the belief, but everything will depend on how well we can start. I think it's very important to have a good start.
"Since we are an experienced side in ODIs and we have been playing consistent cricket in the past four-five years, obviously we can hope to get a very good and special outcome this time around."
The fascination towards the World Cup trophy remains similar from one generation to the next, according to another former Bangladesh captain and current selector Habibul Bashar Sumon.
Bangladesh were a mere participant in their maiden World Cup appearance in 1999. An optimistic Bashar now wants to get closer to the trophy this time around.
"We played the '99 World Cup and, truth be told, I got very excited watching the trophy. Feels like the World Cup started today (yesterday). In 2019 we were in a good position and went there with a good side," said Bashar.
"We don't want to just play well, we want to do something very good. We want to get closer to the trophy. We have played well in World Cups before but the results didn't always come. This time we want results.
"Everything is in a good state but the kind of form the team is in at the World Cup is very important. The last one year we have been in tremendous form and if we can carry that to the World Cup, we can expect something good," Bashar added.
Mushfiqur, Bashar and many deem the upcoming World Cup as Bangladesh's best chance to make it a special one. With ever-growing expectations this time around, can the Tigers dare to dream big?