Shanto throws hat into ring for permanent Bangladesh captaincy


Shanto was speaking after leading the Tigers in their final match of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, which ended in a high-scoring eight-wicket loss to Australia.

And the 25-year-old, who also led Bangladesh against India earlier in the tournament, says he is ready to step up if the selectors decide that he is the man for the job permanently.

“I've been doing it for a while now and personally, I think I'm ready,” Shanto said after Saturday’s match in Pune.

“If I get the opportunity, definitely, I'm ready to do it perfectly.”

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Australia overcame a target of 307 with ease.

Bangladesh were led through the tournament by Shakib Al Hasan but the veteran all-rounder has already outlined that he is unlikely to continue playing for the side beyond the 2025 Champions Trophy, and admitted that he was a reluctant appointment as captain earlier this year.

Should Shakib not continue as the team’s leader, Shanto says the experience he has gained at his first World Cup will serve him well.

“I have nothing to say further about my captaincy, but I have learned a lot since it was my first World Cup. I played one-day cricket against such big teams, I played in such an environment. This experience will help me.

“How to improve from here will be the main focus in the coming days if the opportunity comes. But there was a lot to learn. There was pressure from the two big teams. I think I've learned a lot and this will help me in the future.”

An inspired century from Mitchell Marsh proved too good for Bangladesh in Pune on Saturday, taking the shine off a batting performance that saw the Tigers go beyond 300 for the first time in the tournament.

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Some inconsistency in batting positions had been blamed in some quarters for Bangladesh’s mis-firing top order.

Shanto says that he hopes a similar policy isn’t followed in future, despite there being understandable reasoning for the moves.

“I think that at first, there was no complaint from the batsman about the batting order,” Shanto said.

“Everyone was happy with the way or the position they were batting. But what I want to say along with this is that if we had stayed in the same place, maybe we could have achieved something different."

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Young Tawhid Hridoy was the top-scorer in Bangladesh innings.

Pushed on the Bangladesh batting order further, the stand-in skipper added:

“It would be good if we didn't do it, honestly. Sometimes you have to do it against a few teams, depending on the strength of the team. But I think we should do as little as possible.

“Even in this World Cup, we did this a lot. There was a good thinking behind this, honestly. We did it according to the strength of the opponent team. But it'd be good if we could do as little as possible. It would have been better if we hadn't done it.”

Bangladesh will begin their ODI rebuild when they travel to New Zealand for a multi-format tour later this month, with the 50-over matches coming up in December. Whether Shanto will be in charge remains to be seen.

Australia vs Bangladesh - LeagueNajmul Hossain Shanto 08/25/1998BangladeshICC Cricket World Cup, 2023Cricket World CupMen's News