ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News
Bangladesh v West Indies, Group B, World Cup 2011, Mirpur
'Not a must-win game' - Shakib
Sidharth Monga in Mirpur
March 3, 2011
Months before the World Cup started, when the groups were drawn up, instinctively one match was looked upon as the potential knockout before the knockouts. That match is upon us. Bangladesh, ranked higher than West Indies in the ICC one-day rankings, and not undeservingly so looking at the results over the last year or two, meet West Indies at home. However, Ireland and England have jumbled up the equations a bit, and this match is not as simple as a winners-go-to-quarters affair.
That doesn't make the game any less importance though. The team that loses this one will have to travel a long road back into contention. The captains of the sides sought to not talk the game up.
"To me nothing has changed," Darren Sammy said of the upset that Ireland pulled off on Wednesday night to become one of the outside contenders themselves. "Every team in this tournament came out to give a good account of themselves. For me every match is a very important match. We have played two games, we focused on each team on the day we played. Now we focus on Bangladesh, and are looking to go out there and execute whatever plans we have in stock."
Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh captain, said this was not their last chance. "Obviously we want to go to the next round," Shakib said. "It is not as if we have to win tomorrow because we will have three more matches, but a win will surely take us a step forward."
Ireland's win over England has thrown the group wide open, but Bangladesh do not want to think too far ahead at the moment. "I don't know how the Ireland game will benefit us," Shakib said. "It will do so only if we beat England too."
Coming back to Friday's game, both the captains said they could win, the rider being if their sides played as well as they are capable of. "If we play well West Indies are definitely beatable," Shakib said. Bangladesh swept a two-match Test series and a three-match one-day series in the West Indies in July 2009, but Shakib said he realised that was not a full-strength squad (several West Indies players had skipped the series due to a feud with the board over contracts). "That team did not have some senior players," he said. "They have all gained in experience, and with the return of Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, they are a better side now.
"But in the back of our minds we will always know that we have beaten them at their home. We will not go onto the back foot even before the start. It is our home and we have so much support. If we consider that, I think the advantage they think they have because of the return of their seniors will be neutralised."
Sammy was expectedly asked about his side being ranked lower than Bangladesh. "Cricket is played on the day," he said. "You saw what happened on Wednesday night. England scored 327, Ireland chased it down. You can say Bangladesh are ranked higher than us, but we have to go out and play to the best of our ability. We won't be taking them lightly, but at the end of the day, they are beatable; we have done it before."
Playing to the best of their ability seemed to both captains' refrain of the day, and if their sides heed their call, it will be some game.