Twin blow for Tigresses ahead of T20 WC Qualifiers
Bangladesh suffered a major blow ahead of the ICC Women's World T20 Qualifiers as pacer Jahanara Alam and batter Fargana Hoque Pinky were ruled out of the tournament due to injuries.
Jahanara suffered a hand injury while training on Thursday while Fargana tested positive for Covid-19.
Left-arm seamer Fariha Islam was named as Jahanara's replacement while all-rounder Shohaly Akhter replaced Pinky.
Bangladesh, who were scheduled to take part in a practice game against the UAE yesterday, are in Group A in the Qualifiers alongside Ireland, Scotland and the United States. In Group B, Thailand, Zimbabwe, Papua New Guinea and hosts UAE will battle it out, with the top team from each group qualifying for the ICC Women's T20 World Cup in South Africa next year.
Bangladesh will take on Ireland on the opening day on September 18. Also on the opening day, Thailand will also lock horns against the UAE while Zimbabwe will take on Papua New Guinea and Scotland will face the United States.
Bangladesh skipper Nigar Sultana Joty was banking on quality and the buoyant spirits around the team to ensure qualification.
"We are obviously looking to ensure qualification. It's not about the opposition or the conditions. We are focusing on improvement all the time. I think we are right up there in terms of experience and quality. The players have been together for a while so team spirit is excellent," Pinky told the ICC ahead of the tournament yesterday.
"This tournament is an opportunity to look at some of our upcoming talents like Marufa Akter, who bowls quick, has hard-hitting abilities and is a brilliant fielder. We can also count on the international experience of Salma [Khatun], Lata [Mondol] and Rumana [Ahmed]. We are nicely balanced."
According to the 25-year-old, the Tigresses have enjoyed good preparations before heading to the qualifiers.
"We played a major domestic competition, the National Cricket League, before coming here. This season's tournament was played in the T20 format, which has helped players adapt to a different style because our last international competition was the 50-over World Cup. Besides, we have been training continuously and I must thank the BCB for providing all-out support for our preparations.
"I believe we are prime contenders to qualify for the main event, and there, the challenge is to live up to expectations. I am very confident in the capabilities of my team, but we have to play our natural game and be consistent," she added.
Bangladesh will take on Scotland in their second group game on September 19 before facing the United States in their third and final qualifying game on September 21. All the matches will take place in Abu Dhabi.