In an exclusive column, Bangladesh Women's captain Salma Khatun explains why her side have more belief than ever before heading into the start of their Women's T20 World Cup campaign.
Our men’s U19 team showed what was possible when you combine determination, talent and hard work, and they are a massive inspiration for Bangladesh ahead of this World Cup.
We are very proud of them and what they were able to do in South Africa but now we are looking to 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.
Since the last World Cup, there is more belief in our team. We have beaten some top teams and sides that are ranked above us in the past two years, there is a nice blend of experience and fresh talent. The core group has stayed together and that experience could prove vital.
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.
We have some of the top teams in the world in our group. But when you come to a tournament like this, you cannot think in terms of good and weak opponents. We won the Asia Cup in 2018 by believing in ourselves against all odds. We need to have the same mentality in the World Cup also.
We came to Australia early to get acclimatised to the conditions which are alien to us. Only a couple of our players have some prior experience of 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 honour. 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.
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.
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 to women’s cricket.
Everything is in place for us to be successful in the next few years and there should be no looking back for the next generation.
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