Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
“The expectations of home fans will go down, which will be very good”
Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has announced that the national team should not play any cricket matches at home for the next two years in order to reduce expectations from the fans.
Al Hasan even went as far as attributing Bangladesh’s poor performance in the World Twenty20 to the immense pressure placed on the national team by the fans.
“People’s expectations, the journalists’ reporting…board’s pressure,” Shakib said in an interview with Prothom Alo. “Players get puzzled under these pressures. It becomes difficult to believe in ourselves. When a player thinks that he will get dropped by playing poorly, he stops thinking about the team and only thinks about his game. When four-five players are thinking like this, the rest follow. Coach, captain and players cannot function properly.
“It would be best to play outside the country. There should not be any cricket at home for two years. The expectations of home fans will go down, which will be very good. We should understand how much we expect from the team. When we will produce players of that level, there can be higher expectations. But we don’t have good players in the pipeline, neither is the domestic cricket of a good standard. Our practice facilities are not good and we don’t have a world-class coaching staff.”
Al Hasan added that even though Bangladesh lost to Hong Kong, it was thanks to his performance that the national team managed to advance to the Super-10 stage of the tournament.
“I did quite well in the first three matches,” he said. “I don’t know how people will take this, but I sometimes feel that had I not taken three wickets and scored 34 runs against Hong Kong, we wouldn’t be playing in the Super 10s. I wasn’t consistent, didn’t do well in two matches. It can happen in T20s. I am not the sort of bowler who can take five wickets.
“I was never this type of bowler, never have been and never will be. I am not a match-winning bowler like Saeed Ajmal or Sunil Narine. I can bowl a good over when the team needs but I cannot guarantee a wicket. We have one match left [against Australia]. If we can finish well, we will think it was a good World T20.”