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Not expecting miracles in Asia Cup; aim is to prepare for T20 World Cup: Shakib

After a dismal run in the game’s shortest format, Bangladesh will compete in the Asia Cup. Shakib has been given another chance to captain the team after Mahmudullah’s three-year reign came to an end earlier this year.

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The newly named Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan stated the team’s goal is to get ready for the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia, which starts on August 27, not to perform any miracles. The Asia Cup starts here on August 27.

After a dismal run in the game’s shortest format, Bangladesh will compete in the Asia Cup. Shakib has been given another chance to captain the team after Mahmudullah’s three-year reign came to an end earlier this year.

The six-team tournament pits Shakib’s team against Sri Lanka and Afghanistan in Group B, and the all-around player has modest expectations for the continental competition.

“I have no goals. My only aim is that we can do well in the T20 World Cup and these are the preparations for it,” Shakib was quoted as saying by ICC. “If someone thinks that I can change things within one or two days or someone else will come to change it, then we are living in a fool’s kingdom.

“If you are able to think practically, our true development will be seen when the team really does well in the World Cup in three months’ time,” said the 35-year-old

Since the T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman last year, Bangladesh has only won two 20-over games, and their most recent series victory in the shortest format of the game occurred over a year ago against New Zealand at home. While Bangladesh has never won the Asia Cup, they have placed second three times, in 2012, 2016 and 2018, each time with Shakib playing a part.

The veteran player said the younger players would need to exercise patience this time around and that he is not expecting any miracles.

“See, we first played this type of version (format) in 2006. Since then, we have not had good results, except the Asia Cup final. We are far behind in this version from that point so we have no choice but to make a new start. When a baby starts walking (the first) steps are very difficult but gradually things become easier and I hope that we will also be able to start walking step by step like a baby and then move forward.”

Bangladesh will be playing their opening game at the 2022 Asia Cup against Afghanistan in Sharjah on August 30, before they take on Sri Lanka in Dubai on September 1.

Bangladesh squad: Shakib Al Hasan (c), Anamul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim, Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Mahmudullah, Mahedi Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Hasan Mahmud, Mustafizur Rahman, Nasum Ahmed, Sabbir Rahman, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Ebadot Hossain, Parvez Hossain Emon, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Taskin Ahmed.

(Inputs from IANS)