Former Bangladesh captain Khaled Mahmud has said the national side should not feel deflated after their dismal showing in the ICC World Twenty20 where they crashed out in the group stages. In coach Jamie Siddons' absence Mahmud, the current operations manager of the National Cricket Academy, will oversee a ten-day camp before Bangladesh leave for the West Indies and is hopeful of boosting the squad's physical and mental strength.
"Bangladesh has not performed badly in the past six months in Test and ODIs so we must carry it on and try to better it. The one-off loss to Ireland has hurt the team morally and they are as sorry about it as the supporters but life goes on no matter what and it is up to us to ensure that the batting does not fail again and let us down," he told the Daily Star. "I will try my best to bring the team out of any psychological friction they might be under in my short sojourn with the team."
Mahmud was hopeful Bangladesh would take positives from the loss to Ireland, which ended their Twenty20 campaign. "I think because the players have been hurt by the defeat to Ireland it will make them more hungry now to perform and showcase their abilities," he said. "They would want to get out there and prove themselves that they are capable of performing at the big stage."
Like coaches and captains before him, Mahmud said consistency was Bangladesh's greatest weakness. "As soon as a player puts on a good performance with the bat his golden touch is nowhere to be found in the next five matches and to be playing well at the international level we must get rid of this as everyone expects us to put in a standard performance every time we take to the field against an international side."
Bangladesh's next assignment is a short tour of the West Indies beginning next month, which includes two Tests, three ODIs and a Twenty20. It is their first tour there since 2004, when they were beaten 1-0 in the Tests and 3-0 in the ODIs.
"We did not play much cricket before the ICC World Twenty20, which rendered us rusty but we will really have to pull our socks now as this is our first major tour this year," said Mahmud. "I was a member of the 2004 touring party and we played some good cricket on that trip," Mahmud said. "The West Indies team had Brian Lara, [Ramnaresh] Sarwan, [Shivnarine] Chanderpaul and [Chris] Gayle and we still managed to run them close and I believe the current team can do better.
"The pitches should be flat as we saw in the recent home series against England where lots of runs where scored so we need to ensure that our batters do well."