Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal on Saturday said that the format of next year’s ICC World Cup in England and Wales would be challenging for the Tigers.
The next World Cup will feature 10 teams and it will be a round robin format where each team will play against each other from where top four finishers will advance into the semi-finals.
The tournament is scheduled to be held from May 30 to July 15 next year.
The Tigers will open their World Cup mission against South Africa on June 2 at the Oval as they will play nine round robin league matches in the 47-day long competition.
‘Personally I’m very much excited. We will get chance to play against all other teams…If a team wants to win the tournament, they will have to play well throughout the tournament,’ Tamim told reporters at Mirpur.
‘They [the teams] will have to work really hard…Teams will need to win five to six matches to qualify for the next round and it is really a challenging thing.’
Bangladesh will have a busy schedule before the World Cup as they are scheduled to play quite a few tournaments like – Twenty20 series against Afghanistan, a full bilateral series against the West Indies, Asia Cup and so on.
The 29-year old batsman believed that their performance in the forthcoming series’ would decide how they would perform in the World Cup.
‘We still have one year left before the World Cup. But the most important thing is if we want to make the tournament a memorable one, we have to perform well in the upcoming series,’ he said.
‘If we can do that, we can take these confidences in the World Cup.’
Tamim added that he was currently focusing more on the upcoming fixtures against Afghanistan and the West Indies rather than qualifying for the knock-out stage of the World Cup.
‘Every team wants to perform well in the World Cup. I always say that it is better not to think about the World Cup now as there is still one-year left. We have many important series before that,’ said Tamim.
‘We have to be focused. We have a lot of tournaments — the West Indies series, Asia Cup — in the upcoming days. Our final target is World Cup but the performances in these series will decide how we will do in it.’
The southpaw, who is currently going through a rehab for his injured left knee, revealed that he would be fit before the start of the training camp on May 13.
‘Today [Saturday] I ran for the first time since my injury. I have been going through rehab for many days. After four to five running sessions, I can understand whether I have pain or not. I hope that before the May 13 camp, I will be fit,’ he added.
Tamim, who will play for ICC World XI along with another Bangladeshi star Sakib al Hasan in a charity Twenty20 game against West Indies at Lord’s on May 31, said that it was a proud moment for him.
‘It will be a proud moment for all of us. We generally watched World XI matches at Lord’s in TV. Two Bangladeshi players will play in the match and it is a big thing. I will try to make it memorable by performing well over there,’ he said.
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