The year that has just passed Bangladesh have had a lot of successes but cricket analysts say on Monday there are more challenges waiting for them in the coming 12 months.
The 2019 is a World Cup year, a tournament where Bangladesh have put their most recent attentions, but before going to United Kingdom to play in the tournament they have few difficult assignments, according to the analysts.
Bangladesh’s mission in 2019 will start in February when they will tour to New Zealand for a full-pledged series, featuring three one-day internationals and as many Tests before they move to Ireland in May for pre-World Cup tri-series, involving the hosts and West Indies.
Unlike the past, the ICC World Cup in June-July in England and Wales is also expected to be tough for Bangladesh as the tournament will be held in a different format where 10 participating teams will meet each other once before the knock-out phase.
Bangladesh is also expecting to host Australia and Afghanistan in October after the World Cup while they will tour India and Sri Lanka in the later part of 2019.
With most of the matches in aboard this should be one of the challenging years for Bangladesh though they have shown progress overseas in recent year.
Former players and analysts believed that the Tigers would take confidence from their improved recent overseas performances in coming months.
’We are a very experienced side now. I am very much hopeful that we will do well in overseas matches,’ said Habibul Bashar, a former national captain and now a national selector.
’We have a good numbers of performers now. It’s true that there is no end of progress. We needed to improve in many areas. We have to find out the mistakes that we have done in 2018 and make sure that we don’t repeat them next year. A new year is coming and we have to start everything afresh.
’The World Cup is a big challenging tournament for us. We haven’t won a big tournament yet. But we have made it to the finals of two tournaments last
year. We are coming close to win and hopefully if we get into similar situation this year, we will not make any mistake,’ Bashar told New Age.
Former chief selector Faruk Ahmed duly termed World Cup in England as the biggest challenge for the Tigers in 2019.
’We are playing really well in limited-over matches, which started from the last World Cup,’ said Faruk. ’We have a good number of pace bowlers – Abu Hider, Rubel [Hossain], Mustafiz [Mustafizur Rahman] along with Mashrafee [bin Murtaza] and there is Taskin [Ahmed] as well.
’We have New Zealand series and then Ireland series before the World Cup. So I am hopeful that our bowlers will get adequate preparations and will do well in England,’ he added.
Faruk called upon the team management to finalise the probable players for World Cup at the earliest possible time and avoid making serious experiments in coming days.
’I want to see Bangladesh making a list of 15-20 players for World Cup and avoid any kind of experiment in pre-World Cup series,’ he said.
’I think if some youngsters perform regularly in this year then we have a good chance to do well in World Cup,’ added Faruk, who was in charge of team selection in 2007 and 2015, the two most successful World Cup campaigns for Bangladesh.