Captain calls for cool heads
CHITTAGONG – Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal has called on fans to cool their passions and be patient if the World Cup co-hosts do not meet their sky-high expectations.
Their supporters in Dhaka reacted with fury on Friday after the nine-wicket Group B defeat by West Indies with stones thrown at the visiting team’s bus.
“I request the fans not to do any silly things,” Tamim told reporters yesterday.
So far, Bangladesh have won one of their three games, losing also by 87 runs to co-hosts India in the tournament opener on Febrary 19 but beating Ireland in between their defeats.
“We will win some days and lose some days as that is cricket and they need to support us through good times as well as bad times,” said the left-hander.
Bangladesh faced the wrath of fans after a rampant West Indies attack skittled them out for their lowest ever ODI total of 58 runs.
The fans booed the Bangladesh team at the ground and threw their shoes on to the road in front of their bus on their return to the team hotel, a huge insult in the country.
The attack on the West Indies team bus was taken very seriously by Bangladesh security forces and politicians, leading to the tightening of safety measures including the introduction of armoured personnel carriers to accompany team buses.
Bangladesh’s elite force Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested at least 28 in connection with the stoning of the bus, though local media said all of them were released on bail.
Vice-captain Tamim hoped a good show against England in their next match on Friday in Chittagong would change the perception of fans about the Bangladesh team.
“I am sure one good game will change the total scenario and you will see a different Bangladesh team,” he said. (Reuters)