If you want to sum up Bangladesh’s 2019 World Cup, there’s only one name - Shakib al Hasan. The star-man of Bangladesh Cricket for more than a decade, has been marvellous this tournament with 542 runs and 11 wickets. But even after his herculean performances, Bangladesh have failed to make the semis and thus, Shakib himself is disappointed because this was not the best of Bangladesh, as he feels the team could’ve done a lot better.
“Yes, we’ve played well enough but we didn’t want to play well enough, we wanted to win. But that didn’t happen, which I feel is disappointing because we didn’t fulfill the hopes or our thoughts coming into a tournament of such stature. I feel that if we could’ve done some little things alright then the results would’ve been better for us,” he said in a post-match interview. He didn’t feel there was much of a difference from the previous two editions as Bangladesh have only won three matches till now.
“2011, 2015, 2019 - we won three matches each in these World Cups. The difference is we have played well consistently this time around. I will not say anything more because I feel that we had the chance to do a lot better which we couldn’t,” he added.
Asked about the reason for their defeat to India, which knocked them out of the World Cup, he replied, “The match was played in a used wicket, in such pitches chasing over 300 becomes very tough. I think it would’ve been great if it was between 280-290. We bowled poorly at the beginning of their innings, for me this was the main reason behind our defeat.”
Questions have been flying in the air about the performances of some senior players such as skipper Mashrafe Mortaza and opener Tamim Iqbal. When questioned about their performances, Shakib had a clear answer.
“I think that if the application was better then we would’ve ended in a better place, let it be in bowling, fielding or batting. So If I summarise the World Cup, result wise it’s disappointing but there are a lot of positive sides. But there’s no point in talking about positive stuff, because at the end of the day only the results matter which we need to change,” he told his interviewer.
Bangladesh’s last match of the group stage is against Pakistan, and Shakib was asked about the game plan for the dead rubber. He replied, “I don’t know what we’ll do. It will actually be decided by the coach, captain that how they want to play, we’ll have to play accordingly. One thing I can say is that everyone is trying from their own place but I feel that we should’ve tried a little bit more desperately.”
Even after such a brilliant tournament, Shakib will end up returning home after the group stage and his words clearly expressed his disappointment. Even more than 500 runs and 10 wickets - a feat which no player ever achieved in a single World Cup edition might not be enough to win him the best player of the tournament, and that is only because the team underperformed.