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We couldn’t give our 100 percent: Bijoy

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 13 August, 2022 12:00 AM
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We couldn’t give our 100 percent: Bijoy
Bangladesh cricketer Anamul Haque Bijoy (fourth to left) and team manager Nafees Iqbal (left) are seen upon their arrival at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in the capital on Friday. –TANVIN TAMIM

Bangladesh top-order batsman Anamul Haque Bijoy on Friday admitted that they were unable to give 100 percent effort during the recently-concluded three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe and it was the reason behind their losing the series in Zimbabwe.

“We were quite surprised after losing the first match. We couldn’t perform to our expectations in Zimbabwe. It was upsetting. We were a bit nervous when we saw the second match going in their favour. I think that it was a series, where we couldn’t give our 100 percent,” said Bijoy, upon his arrival in Dhaka.

Bijoy alongside the majority number of Bangladeshi players and the coaching staff returned home on Friday afternoon after a disastrous series against hosts Zimbabwe.

ODI skipper Tamim Iqbal, head coach Russell Domingo, pace bowling coach Allan Donald and spin bowling coach Rangana Herath didn’t accompany the team in the flight.

The Tigers began the tour with losing the three-match T20I series by 1-2 to concede their maiden T20I series defeat against Zimbabwe while they then lost the ODI series as well by the same margin to suffer their first ODI series defeat against the African nation in nine years.

However, the Zimbabwe series was a bittersweet experience for Bijoy, who finally got an opportunity to showcase his merit in the 50-over format after he was recalled to the national set-up during the West Indies tour in June-July.

Bijoy, who created a world record feat during the last Dhaka Premier League by scoring 1138 runs in a single edition and got back to the national team after three years, played a Test and three T20I in West Indies but failed to be in the playing XI during the ODI series due to team combination.

The 29-year-old, who couldn’t demonstrate a decent batting performance in West Indies, continued the poor run of form in the three-match T20I series in Zimbabwe where he could make only 56 runs.

The right-hander, however, managed to come good when he was given an opportunity in the 50-over series and he even scored 73 off 62 balls during the first match of his return to the format.

Bijoy made 20 runs in the second match but he scored yet another fifty (76 off 71 balls) in the series-concluding match to justify his selection and finish the series with second highest 169 runs which he scored at an average of 56.33.

“I was very excited to come back. I had done a lot of hard work and made a return after three years. I’ve tried to make use of this opportunity. It would have felt great if I could’ve made contributions that brought our team victories,” said Bijoy.

“It wasn’t easy to win against Zimbabwe in their backyard. They played good cricket. We had a few lacking and they played good cricket,” he said, adding that he was warmly welcomed in the side.

“Everyone accepted me and didn’t make me feel that I’ve returned after a long time. It has motivated me to perform,” he added.

Bangladesh will now prepare for their next assignment – T20 Asia Cup in UAE – which is scheduled to start on August 27.

Bangladesh are drawn in Group B alongside Sri Lanka and Afghanistan for the upcoming Asia Cup.

Bangladesh will begin their tournament campaign against Afghanistan on August 30 in Sharjah before they face Sri Lanka in the last group match on September 1 in Dubai.

The top two teams from each group will progress to the Super 4 while the top two sides from the Super 4 stage will play in the final in Dubai on September 11.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board is expected to announce the squad for the tournament today.