Mushfiq wants to see Tigers in top-six in all formats

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Sports desk, May 08: Former captain of Bangladesh cricket team Mushfiqur Rahim expressed his desire to see Bangladesh among the top-six teams in all formats of the game.The 32-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman has an average of 36.8 in Tests, 36.3 in ODI and only 20 in T20. He is determined to have a 40-plus average in Test before he retires.

Mushfiq, who will complete 15 years in international cricket this month, talked about his wishes in an hour-long live discussion on Daily Cricket Facebook page on Thursday.

He talked about his journey from being a student from BKSP to becoming ‘Mr Dependable’ of Bangladesh cricket team.

The Tigers are now inches away from the top six slot in the ODI formats, currently ranking at number seven in ODI and eighth in T20 internationals, but their positions in Test cricket continues to be poor at 9th slot.

Bangladesh’s position in Tests became more frustrating (10th) if Afghanistan were taken into the account. Afghanistan were not considered for the last ICC ranking as they failed to play required numbers of Tests.

Mushfiq, however, felt that Bangladesh had the chance of making some upward strides in the Test rankings with their scheduled home series against Australia in June (postponed), New Zealand in August and West Indies in next year’s January.

All three of these series are part of the ICC Test Championship, but due to ongoing global coronavirus crisis the series against Australia has already been postponed and the fate of the remaining two series is also uncertain.

Mushfiq was still optimistic that all of these matches will eventually take place and Bangladesh will be able to replicate past good performances against the sides on home soil to get some much needed points in the Test championship and also in the rankings.

“I believe we can make it to the top six”, Mushfiq said.

“In the coming days, we will play against Australia, New Zealand and West Indies at home. We have defeated Australia at home before, played well and drew against New Zealand. We defeated West Indies also. We have the potential to be there,” he added.

Mushfiq made his debut for Bangladesh at Lord’s in a Test match against England on May 26, 2005. Mushfiq, who was then a 16, shared his memory of debuting for Bangladesh at the sacred ground of cricket.

The dressing room at Lord’s is on the second floor. One has to come down, walk through the long room where all the MCC members sit and then take the stairs outside. It takes almost two minutes.

“When it was my turn to bat, I was pretty nervous. But, once I stepped inside the boundary rope, it was all calm,” Mushfiq said.

In that match, Mushfiq scored 19 and three in the two innings but showed glimpses of his batting prowess.

Mushfiq, who currently has a 36-plus average in both ODIs and Tests, wanted to take his Test average over 40 before calling it a day in international cricket.

“And when I sign off, I want to leave with above 40 average in Test matches,” he added.

Mushfiq, who earlier announced that he will auction off the bat with which he became the first Bangladeshi double centurion in Tests to help the suffering people during the pandemic, will put up his bat for auction on Saturday (May 9) night at 10pm and the auction will continue till May 14.

Moreover, Mushfiq, who came to live twice on social media within a week, will make his third appearance in Facebook live with the captain of the Under-19 World Cup champions Bangladesh Cricket team Akbar Ali on Saturday (May 9) night at 10pm.

Akbar Ali will also put up his U-19 World Cup winning Jersey for auction on the same occasion for the novel cause of helping Coronavirus victims.

Mushfiq asked affluent people to place the highest bid possible to purchase the bat which will aid him in his various humanitarian activities.

“I am involved with various charity programmes. I support old age homes, I support a school in our locality. I didn’t want to disclose these activities earlier. This bat is very special to me. I am putting it up for auction so that I can help many more people,” he said.

Mushfiq also revealed his plan of publishing an autobiography in a year or two.

“I have maintained a habit of writing diary for many years, since I was in BKSP. Hopefully, I will be completing my autobiography soon. In a year or two, it will come out,” he added.

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