Former Bangladesh spinner Abdur Razzak writes for International Cricket Council ahead of the World Cup 2019
It’s simple – the Cricket World Cup is always the biggest event for Bangladesh.
In 1999 we beat Pakistan. In 2007 we beat South Africa and of course, India. We have also beaten England in the last two ICC Men’s Cricket World Cups.
We cherish these memories and they mean it’s a special competition for our fans.
In the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, it’s really difficult to say whether a team will or won’t do something. But Bangladesh have a very good chance to do well.
I have to tell people – don’t underestimate Bangladesh. They will play well.
Everyone speaks about England, India and Australia being favourites to make the final four, but I think Bangladesh can make the semi-finals.
We made it to the semi-finals at the ICC Champions Trophy in England in 2017 and it’s my opinion we can do it again.
It’s really helpful to have Steve Rhodes as our coach for a tournament in England and Wales. He knows everything about the grounds and the conditions that will face the players.
Steve is a very nice man. He is very clear on what he wants from the team – he explains it very well and whatever he wants, he will get it from his squad.
Bangladesh fans are very passionate. It’s not like in England and Australia, they all look to the coach to decide the fortunes of the team.
If we do well, everyone loves the coach and if the team doesn’t do so well, they start to talk and have negative thoughts.
In Ireland, we beat West Indies in the tri-series final to win our first-ever multi-national tournament. That win was really special for the team, especially so close to the World Cup.
Conditions in Ireland are not the same, but pretty similar to England. I think winning the tri-series will give this team the belief they need to get over the line in close games when the stakes are high.
In Bangladesh, we speak about the Big Five. They are five of the best one-day players in the world: Mushfiqur Rahim, Sakib al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Tamim Iqbal and Mashrafee bin Murtaza.
They are special players and they will help the younger, newer players in the side perform well and win games.
People say we are too dependent on the performances of the Big Five – sure, it’s a young squad aside from them but none of the other players are new to the team. They all have experience.
One player I am excited about is Mosaddek Hossain. I was a bit concerned about him and whether he could play a part in a crucial middle-order position.
We all saw how he played in Ireland, taking the wickets to help us beat the West Indies. He proved that he can do well and his role with the bat will be vital too.
We beat England in 2011 and 2015. This year everything is in their favour, but we will try hard and it would be our biggest-ever win if we beat them.