“I Was Taken By Surprise”- Tamim Iqbal On Bangladesh’s Direct Qualification For 2023 World Cup

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Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal said that he was surprised that the Tigers had earned direct qualification for the 2023 ODI World Cup which will be played in India in October-November.

Bangladesh were one of seven teams to secure direct qualification for the World Cup after the second ODI between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan ended in a no-result in Pallekele. Bangladesh have won five of their last six ODI series under Tamim’s leadership, with the highlight being their maiden series victory in South Africa in March this year.

“I was taken by surprise when I saw that we had completed qualification. I thought we would need to win one out of the last six games, but because of the other teams’ results, it came early. It gives a bit of breather, but it is not the ultimate goal. We have to finish in the top four if possible.

Tamim Iqbal
Tamim Iqbal [Image-Getty]

I think the way we qualified is a great achievement. I felt that when this qualification thing came up, we took it up very seriously. We knew we had some away series too. We didn’t want to wait till the very end to qualify. Going into the 2023 World Cup, we definitely want to do really well. If we qualify as one of the top three or four teams, it makes sense talking about wanting to play in the semi-finals or finals. If you go in as say the No. 4 team, it means you have done well over 20-23 games. For a team like us, it would give us some confidence,” Tamim told ESPNCricinfo.

Tamim’s win percentage of 59.25 is currently the best for a Bangladesh captain in ODIs.

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“We Have A Good Understanding”- Russell Domingo On His Equation With Tamim Iqbal

Tamim’s partnership with coach Russell Domingo is a significant factor in Bangladesh’s recent success. The coach had been under pressure after Bangladesh’s twin series loss in Zimbabwe, which prompted the BCB to bring in S Sriram as a technical consultant – effectively the head coach – for the Asia Cup (in the T20 format) and the T20 World Cup.

Now Domingo has reunited with Tamim for the important ODI and Test series against India which begins on December 4 with the ODIs being played first. Despite “some rocky times” earlier, Domingo said he and Tamim were on the same page now.

Tamim Iqbal and Russell Domingo. PC- Twitter
Tamim Iqbal and Russell Domingo. PC- Twitter

“We have a good understanding. We have had some rocky times. Our relationship is good at the moment. We understand each other’s roles. We understand what we want from our team. The next couple of months are important for the 50-over side. We really want to qualify for the semi-finals [of the World Cup]. We have a team capable of doing that.

I think we have a chance. We need to share this belief because belief in Bangladesh cricket is not where it needs to be. There’s going to be some speed bumps, we will lose games, but the end goal is to get to the World Cup semi-final,” Domingo told ESPNCricinfo.

The three ODIs will be played on Dec 4, 7 and 10 in Dhaka and Chattogram.

Also Read: IND vs NZ: “England Mein Rishabh Pant Ka 100 Tha, Sanju Samson Apni Jagah…”- Shikhar Dhawan On Rishabh Pant And Sanju Samson

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