Sports, Cricket

Shanto to lead Tigers as Kiwis eye series win today

Published : 25 Sep 2023 08:26 PM

Bangladesh stand-in ODI skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto said on Monday that he is aiming to follow Shakib Al Hasan's leadership mantra as he readies himself to lead the national side against New Zealand at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Tuesday.

The BCB appointed Najmul as their 16th ODI captain after another make-shift skipper Litton Kumar Das, who was handed the responsibility after regular skipper Shakib was rested from the whole series, wanted a break to work on his batting. Najmul looked excited to take up the challenge despite the fact that the hosts could lose their first series against New Zealand at their own backyard since 2010.

"It is not a challenge but a matter to enjoy," he said on the responsibility. "I am really feeling good for the opportunity and now the way our team is at the moment with the World Cup ahead. To be honest if we can end the game on a good note our team will be in a good shape and if I can end the game on a good note it will be helpful for me as well," Shanto told reporters ahead of the third ODI at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Monday.

"We cannot think what happened in 2008 (their last ODI series loss to New Zealand at home) and it is important to end the game on a good note tomorrow. I think as a player this is a proud moment for me and for my family members. The board gave this opportunity and I am very excited about it. Hopefully I will enjoy it tomorrow," he said.

"Shakib bhai has always been my favourite cricketer. As a captain we have seen MS Dhoni and everyone likes him a lot. Personally I like the way Shakib bhai leads the team and handles the players. I had the opportunity to play with him in the BPL and learnt a lot of things from him. The experience I have and what I have learnt from my senior brothers I will try use it."

Najmul also admitted that this journey from a player to captain has been quite pleasant even though he insisted he still has a long way to go. "If I have to tell about the journey it is going really well though there is still a long way to go and I really enjoyed both the good times and bad times," he said.

"In future if there is a possibility to lead the side I will surely give it a try and to be honest this is a dream for every cricketer to lead his country. It (leading the national team) came to me this time and if there is an opportunity in future will try to fulfill the responsibility to the best of my ability," he added.