Tuesday, 29 November, 2022

Nigar confident of retaining Asia Cup title

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 28 September, 2022 12:00 AM
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Nigar confident of retaining Asia Cup title
Players and coaching staff of Bangladesh women’s national cricket team are seen on their arrival at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in the capital on Tuesday. – BCB PHOTO

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Bangladesh national women’s team skipper Nigar Sultana Joty expressed her confidence in retaining the title of the Women’s T20 Asia Cup, scheduled to take place in Sylhet on October 1-15.

“We are 110 percent confident (of retaining the Asia Cup title). We’ll be playing in our own backyard and the team is also in good shape. So we’ll definitely want to keep the trophy here,” Nigar told the reporters at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport upon their arrival from UAE on Tuesday.

Bangladesh are the reigning champions of the regional competition having won the tournament back in 2018 after they beat six-time champions India by three wickets in the final at Kinrara Academy Oval in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Tigresses recently became unbeaten champions in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in UAE and Nigar believed that they can’t have a better preparation than that for the upcoming Asia Cup.

The reigning champions will begin their tournament campaign against Thailand at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium Ground 2 on October 1.

India will face Sri Lanka in the opening day’s other fixture while the remaining three teams of the seven-team tournament are – Pakistan, Malaysia and UAE.

All seven teams will face each other once before the four top teams will progress to the semifinals.

The two semifinals will be held on October 13 while the final will take place on October 15.

“I would say this is our best preparation because there can be no better preparation than match practice. As we are playing in this format (T20), it will certainly help in the Asia Cup because more or less we are getting the same team. If we can play as a unit, I think we can do well in the Asia Cup,” she said.

“I think rather than that win (women’s football team’s SAFF win), we are taking inspiration that we are defending Asia Cup champions. We have a lot of players who have played in the last edition of the Asia Cup. I think qualifying in the T20 World Cup T20 also boosted our confidence,” she added.

Experience pace bowler Jahanara Alam and leg-spinner Fahima Khatun returned to the side for the Asia Cup after the duo had to return home early from UAE without participating in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier after sustaining different injuries.

Faria Akter Trishna and Shohaly Akhter, who replaced them in the squad, were also retained for the Asia Cup.

Meanwhile, four participating teams – Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and UAE will arrive in Bangladesh today to take part in the Asia Cup. Malaysia are already in Bangladesh while India will arrive on Thursday.

Bangladesh national women’s team will travel to Sylhet to compete in the tournament today.