Shakib dismisses Bangladesh-Sri Lanka rivalry
Bangladesh ODI skipper Shakib Al Hasan shrugged off talks about a rivalry between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka when it came to the Asia Cup as the all-rounder acknowledged the exciting cricket that this particular contest brings.
"I don't think it's a rivalry but we play good cricket when these two countries are playing. It's good for the crowd and the broadcaster to be able to show a good game of cricket. We would like to win, of course. We want to play good cricket but having said that, playing Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka won't be easy," Shakib told the reporters on Wednesday.
Recent encounters between the two nations have produced quite a few thrillers to remember, including a last-over nail-biter in the 2018 Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka. Bangladesh did the double on the hosts in the tournament only to lose the grand finale against India but the two matches brought out memorable contests that were at times feisty.
The Tigers also have the upper hand when it comes to Asia Cup contests since 2012. In the last five editions of the tournament, including both T20I and ODI formats, Bangladesh have won on three occasions, while Sri Lanka managed to clinch two.
Bangladesh have made the Asia Cup final three times but are still searching for their first trophy.
Emotions have often hampered Bangladesh's performance, which Shakib acknowledged was the case in Dubai last year.
"Emotion-wise we have to play the game and see where we are at this moment," he said.
"I think the dressing room is calmer and that is a good thing."
Star all-rounder Shakib said a good performance would raise their expectations ahead of the World Cup.
"Asia Cup is not a small tournament, it has history, it has some big games," he said.
"We are taking this tournament seriously. If we do well here it will give us confidence building up to the World Cup."