'First of all, we have to play on good pitches' - Bangladesh skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto advocates for better home pitches ahead of T20 World Cup

"Some people can take it as an excuse, but it's really a fact that we play very few matches on good pitches," remarked Shanto.

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Najmul Hossain Shanto
Najmul Hossain Shanto. (Photo Source:SHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)

Cricket fever is at its peak as the mega cricket carnival T20 World Cup 2024 is knocking on the door. Before the ICC mega event commences, teams have started to prepare by playing in allotted venues through bilateral series and warm-up games. In the same vein, what was anticipated to be a straightforward warm-up series for Bangladesh against T20 World Cup co-hosts USA turned out to be a forgettable experience for Najmul Hossain Shanto & Co.

Struggling to find their rhythm, particularly in the first two matches, Bangladesh ended up on the losing end of a 2-1 defeat, marking one of the most significant upsets in cricketing lore. In the aftermath of the concluded series, the 25-year-old Shanto, freshly appointed as Bangladesh's all-format captain emphasized the pressing need for the preparation of "good pitches" at home. He acknowledged that while some might perceive it as an excuse, it was indeed a reality that Bangladesh lacked sufficient ideal T20 tracks compared to other countries.

"First of all, we have to play on good pitches. Some people can take it as an excuse, but it's really a fact that we play very few matches on good pitches," Shanto told AFP.

Also Read: Chief selector Gazi Ashraf highlights Bangladesh's mistakes following USA series loss

Najmul Hossain Shanto's assertions seem justifiable and necessary, particularly in the context of today's cricketing landscape characterized by high-scoring matches and soaring run rates. Interestingly, only one player in their current 15-member T20 World Cup 2024 squad boasts a strike rate exceeding 130. Furthermore, the average first- and second-innings scores at Bangladeshi venues since 2010 have been modest, 139 and 121, respectively, indicating the need for improvements in terms of making more batting-friendly tracks, especially in the realm of T20Is.

Bangladesh have never qualified for knockout stages in T20 World Cup history

With the T20 World Cup 2024 around the corner, another striking statistic stands out: the South Asian nation, currently ranked ninth in the ICC Men's T20I rankings (last updated on May 14, 2024), holds the unique distinction of being the sole team to have competed in every edition of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup thus far without advancing past the group stage even once.

Also Read: T20 World Cup 2024: Threat looms over marquee event as weather destroys facilities to cancel USA-Bangladesh warm-up fixture

After a lacklustre performance in the recent Zimbabwe and USA T20I series, where he could only muster 99 runs in  7 innings, the southpaw would be determined to make a mark in the upcoming mega-event. His resurgence would be vital for Bangladesh's chances of making a meaningful impact in the tournament.

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