Bangladesh v New Zealand, World T20, Group 2, Kolkata March 25, 2016

Mashrafe calls for focus over emotion


Mashrafe Mortaza: "There is still inexperience but it is an almost settled team now." © Associated Press

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has urged his players to isolate themselves from the emotional outpouring back home following their heart-wrenching loss to India, and instead focus on the positives that a win against New Zealand would bring.

While Bangladesh fans were shocked by the one-run defeat that knocked their team out of the competition, there has been no shortage of sympathy and support for the players - like the reactions to Mushfiqur Rahim's apology on Facebook would tell you. Mashrafe admitted it wasn't easy to recover quickly from such an enervating experience, but said there was no point in clinging on to it either.

"The boys have had 48 hours to think about it. Nobody broke down but everyone was upset. I think [now] you have to play hard," Mashrafe told reporters on the eve of Bangladesh's last group stage match against New Zealand. "At the moment, you can't just think about [what] others [are thinking or feeling]. We have to think we have one match left to play. But we should think positively that we have one match left and if we get a chance to win, we will grab it.

"All Bangladeshis are passionate about cricket and it [the loss to India] is disappointing. The way we lost you just can't describe [it]. There's no words [left] for any player [to say]. Even if we say sorry, it's not good enough.

"We needed two from three balls and we should have won it easily. We have to accept the criticism. Whatever people say, we don't have anything to say. It's acceptable."

Mushfiqur's premature celebration after bringing down the target to two off three balls against India is an image that will haunt him and his team for a long time. Bangladesh's excitable nature on the field has at times been held against them, but Mashrafe couldn't make up his mind on whether it worked for or against his team. "Yes, you are right [about Bangladesh being an emotional team]. [But] emotion is something that is difficult to change. It can help sometimes, I feel, and it's been working for us. But it's very difficult to say [whether remaining calm like MS Dhoni would work for us]. It varies from person to person, so I don't know what to answer."

But he wasn't nearly as unsure about disputing the line of thought that Bangladesh had a patchy record in Twenty20 cricket, and said they were a much improved side across formats over the last two years. "We have prepared a good team. We have reached a stage in the last one-two years," Mashrafe said. "We reached the quarter-final in the [2015] ODI World Cup. We made it to the final of the Asia Cup. There is still inexperience but it is an almost settled team now. Even in this World T20 we ran teams like Australia and India really close. So there are a lot of positives. Hopefully we will be a different team in the next World Cup."

With many careers winding down at the end of the World T20, there were predictably questions about Mashrafe's own future. He, however, dead-batted them saying he would think about it only after getting back to Bangladesh.

Arun Venugopal is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo. @scarletrun

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Gopalakrishna on March 26, 2016, 13:09 GMT

    Bagladesh cricket team and fans as an Indian cricket fan firstly please accept my apology on my previous sarcastic comment. There is a bit animosity developing between both teams fans due to past few competitive matches we played and some of the nasty comments we exchanged between us during past month and half. My emotion took over me. Let us again be same good fans of real cricket than our own teams. You folks are truly developing into a good cricket team and that is good for cricket. Take Srilanaka on of our neighbors as example and develop cricket in your country and produce cricketers like Mehela, Jaisurya and Sangakara. Wish you all good luck for future and again please accept my sincere apology on my previous sarcastic comment and expect you also root for India and SL to go all the way to lift the T20 WC afterall we are all good neighbors.

  • Gopalakrishna on March 26, 2016, 12:17 GMT

    Bangladesh, very well played......45/6 in 11 overs...what a wonderful batting.

  • mahesh on March 26, 2016, 11:45 GMT

    yeah probably being calm like dhoni wont work for BD whereas celebrating before winning will certainly do wonders!

  •   Hamza Salman on March 26, 2016, 11:26 GMT

    @GOLDENEYE075 One cannot compare Bangladesh cricket team with that of Sri Lanka in terms of achievements or performance in the first 15 or so years of full ICC membership. Sri Lanka were soon challenging trough teams like Pakistan in their initial years, achieving acceptable win-loss ratio, whereas Bangladesh success stories have simply been too few and far between.

  • Pony on March 26, 2016, 9:58 GMT

    BD were out of competition even if they had won that match.For them to go ahead,they had to beat India and NZ and also recover a massive negative run rate to go ahead Aus and Pak,which was impossible.They just wanted to spoil India's party.And failed comically.

  • Elius on March 26, 2016, 8:58 GMT

    Dear Ritesh Prask thanks for a lovely cricket fan but I have a question -"They have the talent, proven over last two years, but their mindset ignores opposition success and therefore can't accept things gracefully" ----does it apply for cricketer or fans . If its for fans I agree. But if it for BD Player I am not agree bcoz ever you noticed .V. Kholi . A Jadeja recently new player Pandeya .their attitude..................................So please this advice for those player .....also

  •   Murali Krishna Challagolla on March 26, 2016, 6:09 GMT

    "emotional outpouring back home" did they lost in WC final or what??

  •   Ritesh Prask on March 26, 2016, 5:22 GMT

    Ban can do well in future, but for that to happen they should develop an embracing attitude than the current adversarial one. They have the talent, proven over last two years, but their mindset ignores opposition success and therefore can't accept things gracefully. The same goes for most Asian teams, our teams play well but some of our supporters don't know the difference between passion and emotion. Cricket, if played with passion will be enjoyable. Look at WI, NZ teams. They win and lose and remain loved by every cricket fraternity. Their fans are most cheerful even of opposition players. Indian fans have gone through the maturity phase, yet sometimes slip back into emotional state and abuse players for losses. That's understandable. But with better education and experience of life, fans will mature accordingly and appreciate good skills and performance than being headstrong and haughty over self performance- whether good or bad.

  • Neranjan on March 26, 2016, 4:03 GMT

    Seen Bangaladesh play, reminds me of Sri Lanka of 94-95 seasons, having played hard and making BIG teams play till the last ball, and pushing BIGGER teams till the last over..... I think success is right around the corner .... need to believe , and I am sure they will suck-seed .......... Anyway they played far better cricket than Sri Lanka.. (A SL Fan)

  •   Puneet Batra on March 26, 2016, 4:03 GMT

    Well written, could've been better if the inference [xyz] could've been left for the readers to infer.

  • No featured comments at the moment.