World Cup

Focused on match at hand, says Mortaza

The questions about 2007 would not stop, but Mashrafe Mortaza had the same patient response to all of them.

“That was a long time ago,” he said. “It’s a nice memory, but it’s not going to help us.”

“In 2011, we lost to them. But thinking about that is not going to help us either.”

Mortaza played a crucial role in fashioning that victory in the West Indies, but his focus is firmly on the present now.

“It’s true that it’s a dream that we are all living, but again, you have to know that there’s no end to one’s dreams,” he said.

“The first question was whether we would qualify, and now it is whether we will get to the semifinals. But we want to concentrate on what’s there in our hands, and that’s tomorrow’s match.”

Mortaza admitted that India was likely to enjoy the bulk of the MCG’s support on Thursday, but said he was convinced his men would not be overwhelmed.

“We know that there will be 95,000 people, and that most of them will be Indian supporters. But as professional cricketers we have to concentrate on the cricket. We can handle it. Obviously, Bangladesh supporters will also be there… we cannot hope for equal numbers, but we should be fine,” he said.

Mortaza said he found Bangladesh’s remarkable passion for cricket touching.

“In the last 15 or 17 years they have been always with us,” he said. “It doesn't matter if we win or lose, they always come to the field and keep supporting us. Again here, whether they were from Bangladesh or living in Australia, they always came to the field to support us.

“That was amazing to see. I’m sure they’ll do it tomorrow as well.”

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Printable version | Sep 16, 2021 8:39:57 AM |

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