Jahanara Alam: Bangladesh lacks international exposure

"The top eight teams play in the ICC championship. So it is difficult for the Board to arrange matches. We have to move up to the top eight so that we get more matches."

The Bangladesh women's team skipper Jahanara Alam during the press conference at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium on Saturday.   -  V. GANESAN

The Bangladesh men’s cricket team has become a potent force in limited overs cricket in the recent past. In sub-continental conditions, the team has downed behemoths like South Africa and India.

The women’s team, however, is a work in progress. The Jahanara Alam-led side has lost both its World Twenty20 matches and is on the brink of elimination. According to Jahanara, her side plays few international games, which is inadequate to prepare for a world event.

“We are not getting international matches. We get domestic games, but not good enough to prepare for World Cups,” she said.

“The top eight teams play in the ICC championship. So it is difficult for the Board to arrange matches. We have to move up to the top eight so that we get more matches. We are practising well, but on the field we sometimes get blocked mentally. We are unable to execute it at times.”

But ahead of her team’s clash against West Indies on Sunday in Chennai, Jahanara was optimistic.

“We are quite confident. Last time we faced West Indies in 2014. They have played lots of matches since then whereas, we have played only five. In this way we are a little bit behind. But we are not demoralised,” she said.

“We are looking forward to a new game. They are not like England or India… if we play well we can beat them.”

Acknowledging the support of the Bangladesh Cricket Board, the women’s team skipper said that her side has to perform better to demand more from the Board.

“Day-by-day, we are getting better facilities. For instance, we never had a practice T-shirt which we do now. The men’s cricket team has achieved a lot. They have played cricket for a longer period. But we have to prove ourselves. So, then, we will be in a position to demand more from the Board.”

Jahanara also spoke about the men’s team skipper Mashrafe Mortaza’s advice for her. “He told me just to focus on the game at hand and have a ‘ball-by-ball’ approach. He asked me to keep the players relaxed,” she said.