Bangladesh T20I skipper Mahmudullah has hit back at the team’s critics after they secured a berth in the Super 12 stage of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. Bangladesh began their campaign with a loss against Scotland but comfortably defeated Oman and Papua New Guinea to progress to the next stage.
Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan had come down heavily on the team after their opening defeat and that had an impact on the dressing room atmosphere. Nazmul took digs at Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah and Musfiqur Rahim which had a cascading effect on the other players.
“Everyone has social media on their phone. We expect criticism when it is warranted, but if that is belittling, we feel bad,” Mahmudullah stated.
“There were many questions, including about the three senior players’ strike rate. We tried hard, but we didn’t get the result. Everyone makes sacrifices. We play with injuries. Some of us take painkillers every day. Many don’t know about these things, so it is not right to talk about our commitment. I hope we can be more settled now. Within the team, there is positive energy, and for that, I thank the whole team. I hope things will get better.
“We are human beings and we also make mistakes. When we play, the whole country plays together. We keep it in our minds. I don’t think anyone has more feelings for it than us. We played bad and we knew that we would receive criticism. We all were hurt by it.”
Mahmudullah acknowledged the players should be criticised but pointed out it shoud be done in a positive manner.
“We are human beings and we have feelings. We have families. Our parents and children always sit in front of the TV and they feel sad about it,” he said.
“Many raised questions on the strike rate of our three senior cricketers. We tried a lot. It wasn’t like we didn’t try. We tried our best but couldn’t get the result. I think the criticism should be healthier.”
Bangladesh, who made 134 against Scotland and then 153 against Oman, found their rhythm against PNG and showed their batting might by posting 181 on the board - their highest score in a T20 World Cup game. Mahmudullah was full of praise for the batters.
“It was much needed,” he said.
“That was the way we wanted to play and there was intent from the batters. If you compare to the last two games, I think we did much better so I think the batters did a very good job to get a 180-plus score.”
“The two things we are concerned about are the first six overs with the bat and ball. If we can get a good start, we can capitalise on it and that is how we have been building up wins. We need to focus on those areas again and try to compete hard.”