Tigers' mixed year tended towards disappointment

Tigers’ mixed year tended towards disappointment

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Dhaka – The Bangladesh cricket team’s mixed performances on the field were weighed down by some off-field events around the year including Mashrafe Bin Mortaza’s sudden announcement of retirement from T20I cricket, coach Chandika Hathurusingha’s unexpected resignation with two years left on his contract and finally young batsman Sabbir Rahman grabbing headlines for all the wrong reasons after allegedly assaulting a fan during the recently concluded 5th National Cricket League.In this outgoing year Bangladesh played nine Tests, 14 ODIs and seven T20Is.Test turnaround The number of Test matches was more than the previous year when the Tigers played only a two-match Test series at home for a 1-1 draw with a maiden victory in the format against England in October 2016.Bangladesh ended the year with a 2-0 loss against South Africa in an overseas series in September-October where they performed too poorly to describe and as a consequence the captain Mushfiqur Rahim was replaced by the world famed all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan on December 10.Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha also had submitted his resignation letter in the midway of South Africa tour that came as a sudden shock for the Bangladesh Cricket Board as revealed by BCB president Nazmul Hassan. They played 1-1 draw in a home series against Australia, recording their maiden victory in this format against the giant, in August- September after a 1-1 draw against Sri Lanka, marking their 100th Test game remarkable also with maiden victory against the Lankan Lions at P Sara Oval in March.The Australians visited here after much negotiation with Bangladesh Cricket Board to play the rescheduled FTP tour as they were scheduled to play the Tests in Dhaka and Chittagong in October 2015, but the tour was postponed over security concerns. The Tigers started the year completing a 2-0 loss in an overseas series against New Zealand that started in late 2016, followed by a 5th-day defeat in Hyderabad as India hosted Bangladesh in a Test match for the first time.ODIs In the Tigers’ most favourite format of ODI, they played 14 matches in this year, all abroad, and recorded only four wins against seven losses while three matches were curtailed. They found victories twice against New Zealand, and once each against Ireland and Sri Lanka.Despite the poor record in 2017, there was also good news as Bangladesh reached the last four in the eight-nation ICC Champions Trophy. Moving to the semifinals in the 8th edition of the Champions Trophy, Bangladesh touched a milestone of reaching the semifinals stage in an ICC event for the first time. They made their exit from the meet losing to India by 9 wickets in semifinal. Previously the Tigers reached the quarterfinals in the 2015 World Cup as their best achievement in an ICC event.
Bangladesh also secured 6th place in ICC ODI rankings for the first time before the ICC Champions Trophy in May, and ended the year in 7th place, thereby ensuring auto qualification as one of the top eight teams for the next edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2019, to be held in England.The Tigers failed to prove their strength away from home in the ODI format after the remarkable achievements on home soil in 2015-16.Trivia-T20Is Bangladesh played seven T20Is in the year 2017, all abroad, and found only one win against Sri Lanka where Mashrafe Bin Mortaza captained the Tigers for the last time in this format on April 6.Mashrafe led Bangladesh in the most number of T20Is, winning 10 of 28 matches as captain. He played 54 games taking 42 wickets at 36.35. He had taken one four-wicket haul in the format, against Ireland in Belfast in 2012. He was also a handy bat down the order, having struck 23 sixes in 39 innings, on the way to 377 runs at an average of 13.46. After the retirement of Mashrafe from T20I, Shakib Al Hasan was assigned as the new captain in the format and led Bangladesh against South Africa in a two-match series where his side was whitewashed by the hosts 2-0 in October.Another much hyped event of cricket was Nazmul Hasan Papon being reelected as the president of BCB unopposed in November for the 2nd successive time to lead the country’s most high-profile sports entity for another next four years.UNB news agency

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