All-rounder and Skipper of Bangladesh women’s cricket team, Salma Khatun was inspired by the stunning performance of their men’s U-19 team who by winning gave Khatun a big motivational boost for the World Cup. It showed her what was possible with determination, talent and hard work combined.
Team Bangladesh is trying to reach the semi-finals for the first time. Group A being tough as they will have to face Australia, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka. The World Cup triumph of the men’s U19 squad gave Salma’s side much-needed confidence.
Khatun said: We are very proud of them and what they were able to do in South Africa but now we are looking at what we can do in Australia.
We are very, very excited. The whole team is looking forward to the event as this is a massive stage and an opportunity for us to show that we can play some quality cricket.
Further, she spoke about how far they have come and their journey. The better belief system they possess this year was felt by Salma since the last World Cup. The reason behind this she points out is the fact that they have beaten some top teams and sides that are ranked above them in the past two years. With a nice blend of experience and fresh talent, the core group has stayed together and that experience could prove vital.
With high hopes and good spirit, Salma Khatun said, “If we can be competitive, aggressive and play without inhibition then we should have moments where we can get ourselves in advantageous positions. If we get our processes right then the result will take care of itself. Hard fight and competition until the very last ball – that’s all I ask of my team.”
One major aspect she figured out was though there are some of the top teams in the world in their group in a tournament like the World Cup, one cannot think in terms of good and weak opponents. Khatun recalled that they won the Asia Cup in 2018 by believing in themselves against all odds and that same mentality she thinks is needed in the World Cup.
Talking about the World Cup in Australia she said, “We came to Australia early to get acclimatized to the conditions which are alien to us. Only a couple of our players have some prior experience in Australia. We have had a camp in Gold Coast and now heading into the tournament, these are exciting times for us and everyone is motivated and confident.
As captain, it is a great honor. I feel very fortunate. The role comes with a lot of responsibility as Bangladesh is a cricket-crazy nation and the people love us and expect good things from us.”
“That passion meant that failure wasn’t an option for us in the qualifiers. We knew we were superior to the other teams and played a dominant brand of cricket, and we made sure we did what we needed to do to qualify for Australia.” Khatun spoke about qualifying matches
Looking forward Salma further said, “Now it is all about handling pressure situations and fitness. These are key elements that often decide matches at this level, and they are the differences between the top teams and the rest. Sometimes it is not just down to better players, but what people can do with the opportunities they have at any given time.
So our goal is to see what we can do against these teams and push ourselves to the next level.”
Concluding the discussion on a positive note she said, “We want to continue playing against top sides and unearth cricketers who can raise the overall level of the team. Our facilities and structure have been improving all the time and the Bangladesh Cricket Board has been very supportive of women’s cricket.
This column originally appeared in the International Cricket Council website and is being reproduced here from the ICC Media Zone