Although the Bangladesh team in Taunton were not involved in a World Cup match yesterday, the result in another match in Taunton would have dampened spirits a bit in the Tigers camp. The match between India and New Zealand in Nottingham was washed out due to persistent rainfall and that could potentially make Bangladesh’s progress to the semifinals more difficult than it seemed after their match against Sri Lanka was washed out on Tuesday.
The Tigers -- at seventh position with three points from four games -- were enjoying a two-day break from cricket in Taunton ahead of their next game here against West Indies on Monday. The ongoing World Cup, with 10 teams playing each other before the top four move to the semifinals, is a zero-sum game of sorts. New Zealand’s fortune -- India are one of the strong favourites -- may be Bangladesh’s misfortune, and skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza did not seem too happy when he came to their hotel lobby at about the time when the match in Nottingham was abandoned. New Zealand, who beat Bangladesh by two wickets on June 5, are now at the top of the table having taken a point from a match that many expected them to lose.
The equation for Bangladesh does not change much, however. A couple of hours before Mashrafe came to the lobby, head coach Steve Rhodes said during an informal chat with reporters that while he was happy with where the team is, it was time to start winning. Despite the result in Nottingham, Bangladesh still need to win four of their next five matches against West Indies, Afghanistan, Australia, India and Pakistan.
With his family in tow, and with Mehedi Hasan Miraz tagging along, Mashrafe then went out for lunch. The inspirational skipper would be looking to keep the spirits of the team high when they start getting back to cricket with an optional practice session today.
Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Mithun, Sabbir Rahman and Mosaddek Hossain have taken the break in action to spend some time away and are expected to return today. Tamim is expected to join the optional training session.