ICC World Twenty 2012 September 12, 2012

Bangladesh 'never better prepared' - Ashraful

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Mohammad Ashraful has pointed to Bangladesh's intensive preparation across three continents as their biggest asset as they head into the ICC World Twenty20. They have played a quarter of all their Twenty20 internationals this year, as well as two competitions where they played unofficial matches, all targeted towards a proper build-up to the event, a factor that went missing ahead of two of the three previous tournaments.

Ashraful has steadied himself as an opener during the past four months, having played 11 out of the 13 games and averaging a shade above thirty. He was also a late call-up for the Ruhuna Royals in the Sri Lanka Premier League, a tournament which also featured Bangladesh team-mates Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah and Nasir Hossain (though he didn't play a match).

"We have played a lot of Twenty20 matches during the past couple of months. If you include the practice games then we will have around 17-18 matches going into the first encounter of the World Twenty20," Ashraful said after Bangladesh's arrival in Colombo.

"This is probably the best preparation we have had before a World T20 event. Also, some of us have participated in the Sri Lankan Premier League last month and that experience could be crucial. I believe everyone has a better understanding of the requirements of the shortest version of cricket now."

When Richard Pybus moved him to open the batting alongside Tamim back in June, it was viewed with initial apprehension. While the numbers suggest only a run-of-the-mill improvement, it has had a positive effect on his mindset, which should be further aided by his experience of playing every Bangladesh tour to Sri Lanka.

"I have made good starts in recent times as an opener," he said. "I feel I am hitting the ball well. I have some excellent memories of Sri Lanka and I have been on every tour of this country since my international debut. I am really looking forward to the tournament."

After competing in Zimbabwe in a triangular series that also featured a South Africa XI, Bangladesh won four out of six T20Is in Europe during July. The last leg of their preparatory tour was to Trinidad & Tobago, where they played T20s against Barbados, Afghanistan and the hosts in a four-nation tournament. They finished second behind Afghanistan on net run-rate but Ashraful wasn't prepared to disregard the campaign due to the loss in the last game.

"I think we did fairly well," he said. "We won easily against Barbados and Afghanistan by chasing in rain-reduced games. We should have beaten Trinidad & Tobago in the last match after having them reeling on 12 for five but they got home in the final over."

He was also happy to see Ziaur Rahman make the most of his opportunities after being given a long-awaited break by the national selectors. Essentially a one-day specialist, Ziaur hasn't made an eye-catching amount of runs but his ability to hit sixes (he has 11 in the last 13 games) is more than handy for Bangladesh.

"We have found some ideal cricketers for Twenty20 to compliment the likes of Shakib [Al Hasan], Tamim, Mushfiqur Rahim and Abdur Razzak," Ashraful said. "Ziaur Rahman is a handy batsman to have as he is a natural big hitter. Mahmudullah is becoming a very useful allrounder in these conditions and Elias Sunny has proved his worth in this version. The return of Mashrafe [Mortaza] is a big plus and he has got into a nice rhythm. His lower order batting can also change matches."

Bangladesh play both their World Twenty20 group-stage matches in Pallekele, starting with New Zealand on September 21 and then against Pakistan four days later.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Bangladesh

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Fan_of_bengal on September 14, 2012, 16:24 GMT

    Go bangladesh go... Best wishes are with you....

  • bored_iam on September 13, 2012, 20:03 GMT

    Another tournament. Another round of false expectation. The ONLY chance the so-called 'tigers' have is if Shakib plays to potential and Tamim Bats in the manner that made him famous previously. Pak always a threat in such a tournament. They the dark horses for me. WI, SL, SA-the strong favs.

  • on September 13, 2012, 18:37 GMT

    U deserved a big hitting t20 team bt didnt pick zia in your team!!?????? How funny??!!! LIttle education is always dangerous @mahfuj1983

  • on September 13, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    @CricketFan365...Interesting! but I still disagree because number 1 the problem with tail-enders is that with limited wickets in hand the chances of them remaining not out is high therefore their batting average can be a bit higher unusually whereas if they were to face a hard fresh new ball at the beginning, they'd be sent back straight to the dressing room if you see what I mean.

  • on September 13, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    Best of luck Tigers......

  • CricketFan365 on September 13, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    @Chris Ward: lol.. very funny.. I hope Ashraful sees your comment. It's a shame for him that many tail-enders have more batting average than that of his. If there were an award for the most inconsistent player of the year, Ashraful would win in every year.

  • on September 13, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    Bangladesh will find it difficult to get past two strong teams, and they have not performed too consistently even against the associates. They have not played any cricket against strong teams in the past 6 months. But still, all the best.

  • Kazi_Rajib on September 13, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    nice to dreaming that Bangladesh will played better than before because they are really prepared for T20 WC.

  • mahafuz1983 on September 13, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    Batting looks thin to me.....its a very good one-day side in terms of batting....but not enough explosive batsman for my liking....bowling looks good.....I know they will play Razzak and Sunny together but not sure if its a good idea considering we have another left armer in Shakib....Games are in Pallekele....I watched SLPL....Its a fast-seaming pitch.....the fastest in subcontinent according to me.....I would take out either sunny or razzak and include a batsman Junaid or whoever....i would definitely inforce my batting considering NZ and Pak are both bowling heavy team...MY XI......1.Tamin, 2. Ashraful, 3. Junaid, 4.Shakib, 5. Nasir, 6. Musfiqur, 7. Mahmudullah, 8. Zia, 9. Mashrafee, 10. Razzak/Sunny, 11. Shafiul......I hope but don't fancy BD in T20

  • on September 13, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    chris did u forget that bd beat england in last world cup?how many century has swan scored?

  • Fan_of_bengal on September 14, 2012, 16:24 GMT

    Go bangladesh go... Best wishes are with you....

  • bored_iam on September 13, 2012, 20:03 GMT

    Another tournament. Another round of false expectation. The ONLY chance the so-called 'tigers' have is if Shakib plays to potential and Tamim Bats in the manner that made him famous previously. Pak always a threat in such a tournament. They the dark horses for me. WI, SL, SA-the strong favs.

  • on September 13, 2012, 18:37 GMT

    U deserved a big hitting t20 team bt didnt pick zia in your team!!?????? How funny??!!! LIttle education is always dangerous @mahfuj1983

  • on September 13, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    @CricketFan365...Interesting! but I still disagree because number 1 the problem with tail-enders is that with limited wickets in hand the chances of them remaining not out is high therefore their batting average can be a bit higher unusually whereas if they were to face a hard fresh new ball at the beginning, they'd be sent back straight to the dressing room if you see what I mean.

  • on September 13, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    Best of luck Tigers......

  • CricketFan365 on September 13, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    @Chris Ward: lol.. very funny.. I hope Ashraful sees your comment. It's a shame for him that many tail-enders have more batting average than that of his. If there were an award for the most inconsistent player of the year, Ashraful would win in every year.

  • on September 13, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    Bangladesh will find it difficult to get past two strong teams, and they have not performed too consistently even against the associates. They have not played any cricket against strong teams in the past 6 months. But still, all the best.

  • Kazi_Rajib on September 13, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    nice to dreaming that Bangladesh will played better than before because they are really prepared for T20 WC.

  • mahafuz1983 on September 13, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    Batting looks thin to me.....its a very good one-day side in terms of batting....but not enough explosive batsman for my liking....bowling looks good.....I know they will play Razzak and Sunny together but not sure if its a good idea considering we have another left armer in Shakib....Games are in Pallekele....I watched SLPL....Its a fast-seaming pitch.....the fastest in subcontinent according to me.....I would take out either sunny or razzak and include a batsman Junaid or whoever....i would definitely inforce my batting considering NZ and Pak are both bowling heavy team...MY XI......1.Tamin, 2. Ashraful, 3. Junaid, 4.Shakib, 5. Nasir, 6. Musfiqur, 7. Mahmudullah, 8. Zia, 9. Mashrafee, 10. Razzak/Sunny, 11. Shafiul......I hope but don't fancy BD in T20

  • on September 13, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    chris did u forget that bd beat england in last world cup?how many century has swan scored?

  • Sylhet Roylas on September 13, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    Best of luck Tigers I think we can easily beat Newzland if we play our real game than beating pakistan is nt a tough task fr us

  • on September 13, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    bangladesh best cricket team line-up World Twenty20 2012 { 01 tamim.02 ashraful-junaid 03 shakib.04 nasir.05 rahim.06 mahmudullah.07 rahman.08 mortaza.09 razzak.10 sunny.11 shafiul.}

  • robi-masum on September 13, 2012, 7:10 GMT

    It is good that the whole team is improving but over confidence is bad.

  • on September 13, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    As much as I agree with Ashraful, I hope Bangladesh keep a low profile and get to their business without bragging about their preparation. they have a tough team with Pakistan, New Zealand and none knows what can happen with these 3 very volatile team in T20... Just get to super 8 and then talk more!!

  • Mad_for_Shakib on September 13, 2012, 5:09 GMT

    Allah allways with bravo, so go Tiger go. We ppl allways with loss or win

  • cricTorque on September 13, 2012, 5:06 GMT

    Well anything added to zero has to be a improvement. I hope it is not another zero as before.

  • on September 13, 2012, 2:33 GMT

    Bangladesh is having their their best tea mever and in a stream of making history....

  • on September 13, 2012, 2:29 GMT

    Bangladesh will rock in this Twenty20 world cup 2012...

  • on September 13, 2012, 2:24 GMT

    Graeme Swann's a better batsman.

  • SylhetiBangladeshiCricketExpert4u on September 12, 2012, 23:40 GMT

    X Factior Is THE GIANT ZIAUR RAHMAN FOR ME.And Match Against Pakistan Need To be Taken Seriously Because if They Win/Lose Against NZ still They Need to Beat Pakistan to Get Confidence Of Going All The Way !!

  • FOTO on September 12, 2012, 22:51 GMT

    If Ashraful messes up AGAIN and doesn't help Bangladesh... then replace him for Junaid Siddique. I really am getting annoyed that Bangladesh cannot find a single good T20 opener for Tamim. If Ash or Ziaur doesn't fire we are doomed!!!

  • likeintcricket on September 12, 2012, 22:46 GMT

    I always admire the lesser teams, but for the sake of good games I hope there won't be any big upset before the second stage. I don't wanna miss any India-Pak or Aus-Eng or South Africa vs WI match. Similarly NZ and Srilanka are very exciting teams to watch. Somehow I don't like the first stage grouping. A one bad day could be the end of the road for a team. For example, A Pak lost to NZ and a rain washed against BN could be end for Pak. I would rather like the first league phase and than a knock out phase. That will give the good teams chance to come back after an upset. I could not pick any favorite from TOP -8 but India's batting and SA allrouders could see them through.

  • on September 12, 2012, 22:26 GMT

    This is in my through analyses on Bangladesh's Cricket their best possible line-up: 01.Tamim, 02.Ashraful, 03.Shakib, 04.Nasir, 05.Rahim, 06.Mahmudullah, 07.Rahman, 08.Mortaza, 09.Razzak, 10.Sunny, 11.Shafiul. Its important with Bangladesh batting that at the very beginning, play sensibly find the gaps and if possible, go for the big shot so that in the last 10 overs with all those wickets in hand, go big and destructive otherwise like their other T20 games will lose simple as that. There's no reason why Bangladesh cannot qualify, this is the the time to show who you really are in the World of Cricket.

  • ExtremeSpeed on September 12, 2012, 22:10 GMT

    I've been watching a lot of T20 Cricket recently and a lot of the Cricketing analysts and experts in those matches were going through those groups in the lounge and completely written Bangladesh off infact they have made predictions for the super stages as well being the top 8 teams. This just shows that they haven't seen much of Bangladesh in the past year or so but lets just hope our boys can show it on the field and they can therefore eat their own words. Very unlikely Bangladesh will get to the final let alone win it but this is the best chance for them to show where they actually belong.

  • on September 12, 2012, 21:36 GMT

    Best of Luck...... both of our opponents are better t-20 players........... but we r close to them....... so , we can beat both of them..... but we really have to play good cricket too... the opening stand is imp in every match........

  • Nadeem1976 on September 12, 2012, 21:28 GMT

    i hope bangladesh plays well in this tournament. In asia cup they were superb.

  • isaac-bd on September 12, 2012, 20:54 GMT

    hopefully bangladesh will make some impression by reaching semifinals this time

  • Keithnkin on September 12, 2012, 20:33 GMT

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating as many a saith. We`ll see.

  • sidh78 on September 12, 2012, 19:56 GMT

    to all sl-pak fans check indias record india won 3 wc on fast green bouncy tracks.50-1983-eng.T20-2007-SA.U-19-2012-AUS.cb series in aus 2008.nest west series in england beat england by chasing 326 record.thrash sl in hobart in 36 ovrs.test series win eng -Nz -2007-2010.draw test ser.in SA 2011.DOMINATE THE DRAW TEST. not talking about subconti recorde which is more awsome.no other team in world have such record.

  • on September 12, 2012, 19:01 GMT

    We want 2 see ashraful sparking in d tournament

  • SCC08 on September 12, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    "better prepared" is one thing... Try actually win a match for a change, you've been in international cricket for a while now and still very very sub-standard. Ireland are a better bet.

  • on September 12, 2012, 18:22 GMT

    Bangladesh definitely has taken over Pakistan's title of being "Unpredictable". I sincerely hope that this unpredictable team will overcome the odds and reach at least the super eight round in World T20

  • on September 12, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    Hope for the Best! We love you tigers :)

  • on September 12, 2012, 18:02 GMT

    We are eager to see what Bangladesh will do in ICC world T20. Best of luck to the tigers ...............

  • zinuk222 on September 12, 2012, 17:48 GMT

    Best of luck Team Bangladesh. Ash,i hope you will be little more aggressive rather than just defending U r natural striker. First six over u should good use of it.

  • on September 12, 2012, 17:46 GMT

    Ashraful on all those tours you were rubbish...

  • real26_03 on September 12, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    My final 11 is - 1)Tamin Iqbal 2)Mohammed Ashraful 3)Junaid Siddiqi 4)Shaqib Al Hasan 5)Mushfiqur Rahman 6)Nasir Hossain 7)Mahmadullah 8)Ziaur Rahman 9)Mashrafee 10)Abdur Razzak 11)Eleas Sani... :)

  • GreenTeam-Elite on September 12, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    Good Luck Bangladesh!!! hope Cricket world will see some upsets from you...

  • real26_03 on September 12, 2012, 17:39 GMT

    Expecting a lot from Bangladesh this time... I have one problem though.. Why Ziaur Rahman doesnt ball??? He is a bowler, so if he balls then another Specialist batsman can be played instead of a 2nd pacer... This would make the team more stable because clearly we are a batsman short..

  • Munafis810 on September 12, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    Will Pakistan win against Bangladeshis???? Naah I doubt it

  • on September 12, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    Junaed wont be a bad option either, for his hitting abilities especially one innings that he played against srilanka in one T20 WC.nasir should be playing at 4. he's can build an innings at moderately fast pace along with frequent stroke making.Mahmudullah, an instinctive stroke maker,holds himself back often-he shouldnt and play his natural attacking game. farhad reza could be a good inclusion if ziaur doesnt click..more so because farhad's wicket-to-wicket bowling would come handy in SL. ziaur is not much of a bowler at all.

  • on September 12, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    Bangladesh may not have the players to win World T20 but there's no excuse for them to progress into the super stages even though its a tough group. If they do manage to progress then they obviously have nothing to lose from there onwards but anyway, all the best make us proud!

  • asiacricket1234 on September 12, 2012, 17:10 GMT

    Well im sure Ashraful himself will do a great job to make sure that BD doesnt win any game. He waste so many ball even against the Associate so against the strong oppents his strike rate gonna be under 70. Donno why Bangladesh dont just get rid of this guy :/. Good Luck anyway. Hope they'll make it to the second round

  • Cpt.Meanster on September 12, 2012, 17:01 GMT

    Good luck to Bangladesh. Boy, it would propel the entire nation to CLOUD 9 if they won the T20 WC !!!! :D

  • on September 12, 2012, 16:55 GMT

    Good luck boys! Go and show the us what you got!

  • on September 12, 2012, 16:51 GMT

    yeah its true but bangladash is well behind from pakistan team and also new zealand is a gr8 t20 team we already seen in match against india so if bangladash can survived group match against pakistan and new zealand it will enough for bangladash...

  • on September 12, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    all i can say is ALL THE BEST boys..........!!! make us proud

  • on September 12, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    bengali tigers are very dangerous in big tournaments and hafeez & co and kiwis should be well aware of that . Good luck to them as they are very much capable to spoil party of any one of the mentioned above .

  • kkk999 on September 12, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    IF YOU COMPARE THE RECORDS OF NEW ZEALAND AND BANGLADESH PLAYERS UL SEE THAT NZ PLAYERS HV MORE EXPERIENCE THAN THEM.. AND IN THE LAST ONE YEAR BANGLADESH HAVE BEEN PLAYING T20S AGAINST MINNOWS LIKE ZIMBABWE IRELAND AND SCOTLAND.. WHEREAS NZ HAVE JUST BEATEN INDIA!!.. SO BANGLADESH SUPPORTERS DONT FELL BAD BUT IT FELLS LIKE NEW ZEALAND AND PAKISTAN WILL QUALIFY FROM GROUP D... BUT I WANT BANGLADESH TO GIVE THESE BOTH TEAMS GOOSE BUMPS WHILE PLAYING.....

  • on September 12, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    Really waiting to see some action... Best wishes for the team in the coming tournament :)

  • on September 12, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    Ashraful still looks at bowler's name before playing.....I am not hopeful on him

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  • on September 12, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    Ashraful still looks at bowler's name before playing.....I am not hopeful on him

  • on September 12, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    Really waiting to see some action... Best wishes for the team in the coming tournament :)

  • kkk999 on September 12, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    IF YOU COMPARE THE RECORDS OF NEW ZEALAND AND BANGLADESH PLAYERS UL SEE THAT NZ PLAYERS HV MORE EXPERIENCE THAN THEM.. AND IN THE LAST ONE YEAR BANGLADESH HAVE BEEN PLAYING T20S AGAINST MINNOWS LIKE ZIMBABWE IRELAND AND SCOTLAND.. WHEREAS NZ HAVE JUST BEATEN INDIA!!.. SO BANGLADESH SUPPORTERS DONT FELL BAD BUT IT FELLS LIKE NEW ZEALAND AND PAKISTAN WILL QUALIFY FROM GROUP D... BUT I WANT BANGLADESH TO GIVE THESE BOTH TEAMS GOOSE BUMPS WHILE PLAYING.....

  • on September 12, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    bengali tigers are very dangerous in big tournaments and hafeez & co and kiwis should be well aware of that . Good luck to them as they are very much capable to spoil party of any one of the mentioned above .

  • on September 12, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    all i can say is ALL THE BEST boys..........!!! make us proud

  • on September 12, 2012, 16:51 GMT

    yeah its true but bangladash is well behind from pakistan team and also new zealand is a gr8 t20 team we already seen in match against india so if bangladash can survived group match against pakistan and new zealand it will enough for bangladash...

  • on September 12, 2012, 16:55 GMT

    Good luck boys! Go and show the us what you got!

  • Cpt.Meanster on September 12, 2012, 17:01 GMT

    Good luck to Bangladesh. Boy, it would propel the entire nation to CLOUD 9 if they won the T20 WC !!!! :D

  • asiacricket1234 on September 12, 2012, 17:10 GMT

    Well im sure Ashraful himself will do a great job to make sure that BD doesnt win any game. He waste so many ball even against the Associate so against the strong oppents his strike rate gonna be under 70. Donno why Bangladesh dont just get rid of this guy :/. Good Luck anyway. Hope they'll make it to the second round

  • on September 12, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    Bangladesh may not have the players to win World T20 but there's no excuse for them to progress into the super stages even though its a tough group. If they do manage to progress then they obviously have nothing to lose from there onwards but anyway, all the best make us proud!