Bangladesh A rode on Saif Hassan’s 110-ball 117 to win the series against their Sri Lankan counterparts 2-1, beating the hosts by 98 runs in the DLS method in the final game at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
It was the first time a senior team from Bangladesh won a series in Sri Lanka and following the team’s return to Bangladesh today, Saif spoke to reporters and the 20-year-old said that he is preparing himself for the national team.
“I was doing well since the Premier League. I tried to bring a change within me from then on. The way I played in the Premier League then I also worked in the next few tournaments. In India too there were a few good knocks,” he said.
The opener starred in a good opening partnership in the series-deciding match and said he was looking forward to make his mark in the national league. “Whatever opportunity I get in the future, I will try to make use of it. Since the national league is next, I would try to do well there.”
Bangladesh has long been looking for an opening batsman for the ODI format, one that can partner Tamim Iqbal well at the top of the order. Selection for the national team was however not the focus for Saif. First he wanted to perform. Chief selector Minhazul Abedin and Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo were among the audience present at the ground as Saif struck his ton, but he reiterated that he always focuses on the match and without worrying about whether a national team selector was there.
“Selection for the national team depends on the selectors. If I continue to play well, Inshallah a chance will come but my job is to perform. It’s not a matter of performing when national team selectors are there. I give every match importance.
“I am readying myself for the national team for a while now. Trying to be fitter and to improve on my fielding and batting. When I play, I find out more about my deficiencies and I am trying to work on them. The more I improve and prepare myself, the better it will be for the national team."