World T20 2014 News: Australia vs Bangladesh; Shakib Blames Fan Support for Team’s Disgraceful Tournament?

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By Shruthi SU | April 2, 2014 4:16 PM EST

Shakib Al Hasan wants Bangladesh fans to ease out a bit. Reuters
Shakib Al Hasan wants Bangladesh fans to ease out a bit. Reuters

Despite being out of the tournament losing three in three in the group stage, Dhaka still saw an almost full house expecting a final magic from the team. Shakib Al Hasan's 66 of 52 didn't help his team win the final match against Australia in the World T20, but it did help put up a decent fight.

If experts think it was a lack of pitching in and playing as a team that Bangladesh always falls short of in big events, Shakib was of the opinion that the intensity of fan support and the pressure that comes with it is equally responsible. Even before the tournament started, Shakib had gone on record asking fans to tone down expectations just so that Bangladesh can produce more wins.

"People's expectations, the journalists' reporting, board's pressure," Shakib was quoted as saying in an interview with a local newspaper Prothom Alo by ESPNcricinfo. "Players get puzzled under these pressures. It becomes difficult to believe in ourselves. When a player thinks that he will get dropped by playing poorly, he stops thinking about the team and only thinks about his game. When four-five players are thinking like this, the rest follow. Coach, captain and players cannot function properly."

Shakib went as far as saying that the pressure and expectations can ease only when the team doesn't play home games for two years. Bangladesh is known for being a cricket crazy nation - more passionate than all of India put together. Despite the love for cricket in the country, Shakib said the infrastructure and domestic cricket standards are pitiable.

"It would be best to play outside the country," Shakib said. "There should not be any cricket at home for two years. The expectations of home fans will go down, which will be very good. We should understand how much we expect from the team. When we will produce players of that level, there can be higher expectations. But we don't have good players in the pipeline, neither is the domestic cricket of a good standard. Our practice facilities are not good and we don't have a world-class coaching staff."

Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim, however, blamed the lack of form of his key players for the disappointing world cup.

"After Hong Kong we were not playing against Nepal but against India, Pakistan or West Indies," Mushfiqur said about the sudden shift from qualifying stage to the groups. "So that was a big shock for us. I think we really recovered well but there were a couple of guys who didn't perform well and that didn't help us.

"If four or five guys are out of form it is difficult to play well as a team and to play 40 overs of competitive cricket and that also cost us in planning and application. So we have to look after those areas and come back for our country and hopefully we will do that."

Meanwhile, Australia were the favourites among non-Asian teams at the start of the tournament. But, losing three in four didn't help them finish off their impressive season on a high. First, their star performer Mitchell Johnson was not playing due to injury and then their openers, Aaron Finch and David Warner, didn't click until the final match.

"I think myself and Davey have both been very disappointing in this tournament as a partnership," Finch said. "What makes it even more disappointing is that it took until the final game to have a big partnership, and to be out of the tournament already. To not be able to progress and then provide a good start for the side was very disappointing and something that is frustrating. We've both come here with high expectations of each other and ourselves. I don't think we played particularly well in the first three games and in such a short format you have to rely on your openers heavily and we didn't do that. So we take a lot of responsibility.

"I think we've let ourselves down in all three disciplines over the first couple of games. And in such a short format like this that really comes back to haunt you quickly. When you have games back-to-back like this, momentum is really crucial. And we probably let that slip in the West Indies game. When we got to the India game we were out of the tournament. It's very disappointing. We came here with hopes to win the competition and we're going home with nothing."

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Shakib Al Hasan wants Bangladesh fans to ease out a bit. Reuters
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