Cricket

Shakib’s absence will motivate us, says Bangladesh T20 captain Mahmudullah

Tough road ahead: Bangladesh players arriving in New Delhi for their India tour which begins with the T20 series.

Tough road ahead: Bangladesh players arriving in New Delhi for their India tour which begins with the T20 series.  

Controversies chased the players like shadows culminating in the suspension of Shakib Al Hasan, but Bangladesh’s T20 skipper Mahmudullah said on Wednesday that the top player’s absence from the India tour will act more as motivation than handicap.

A 15-member squad arrived here, a day after one of its greatest players was handed a two-year ban by the ICC, for a tour that will have three T20Is and two Tests.

“We have to play with our heart for the country,” Mahmudullah was quoted as saying by ESPN Cricinfo.

Honour

“I think this (Shakib’s absence) will work as motivation for us. I think there’s no greater honour than playing for the country. The responsibility to lead the side lies with me, so I will try to give it my all,” said the T20 skipper and a veteran of many battles.

Mahmudullah, however, admitted that it will be a difficult assignment against India. “The statistics don’t lie. It is a tough ask, but it is not impossible.

“We have to perform as a team, and ensure we take advantage of every opportunity.”

Young squad

In what is a rather young side, Mahmudullah will only have another senior player Mushfiqur Rahim to lean on for help in the absence of Shakib and opener Tamim Iqbal.

“Definitely, I will miss him (Shakib), since we have played together for so long,” Mushfiqur said.

The former skipper said that Shakib’s absence could also be seen as someone getting injured and being out of action.

“It is tough to play without him as he is the No. 1 player. If someone was injured for a year, which could have been anyone, then it would have been an opening for the younger players. It is a challenge to beat India in their home turf but a challenge also means an opportunity,” Rahim said.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2020 2:28:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/shakib-al-hasan-absence-will-motivate-us-says-bangladesh-t20-captain-mahmudullah/article29835097.ece

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