I’m not a magician: Hathurusingha

Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha speaks during a pre-match press conference ahead of the first T20 in Chattogram on 8 March 2023Prothom Alo

Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha said he can’t magically predict the outcome of his team’s first Twenty20 against England but said that the hosts will be eyeing a victory against the English team in Chattogram.

The first T20 of the three-match series will take place at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in the port city on Thursday, the same place where the Tigers salvaged some pride in the 50-over series, which they lost 1-2, with a 50-run win in the third One-Day International (ODI).

After failing to win the ODI series, their strongest format, the Tigers will now have to try and topple the reigning ICC World T20 champions in the shortest format of the game.

Coach Chandika Hathurusingha speaks with T20 captain Shakib Al Hasan.
Shamsul Hoque

Bangladesh, who were knocked out from the group-stage of the same T20 World Cup where England were crowned champions, will enter the match as the underdogs.

However, the victory in Chattogram in the last ODI could work as inspiration, as they now know that they can defeat this England team.

Hathurusingha, however, didn’t make any bold prediction nor did he promise any grand results when asked about what his team will do in the first T20.

“I’m not a magician, or someone who can forecast the future. Say, what we are going to do. We are trying to win,” Hathurusingha said in the pre-match press conference in Chattogram on Wednesday.

ZACS, which is usually known for its batting friendly pitches, served up a dry pitch in the third ODI between Bangladesh and England, which helped the slower bowlers.

On such pitches, run scoring is difficult and smaller totals are more likely, the opposite of what is expected in a T20 game.

Bangladesh batsmen during a training session in Chattogram on 8 March 2023
Shamsul Hoque

Hathurusingha, however, hinted that another low-scoring match is most likely on the cards.

“What you saw in the ODI two days ago,” the Sri Lankan replied when asked what sort of pitch is he expecting in the match. “You can’t change pitches that quickly. We are playing on the same pitch I think. So, it will be similar.”

“We all like runs, isn’t it? That’s the entertainment, we are in the entertainment business. We need to score runs. That’s why people come to watch cricket.

“If you don’t score runs, if the bowlers do well, that’s another way. I know the public would like to see runs and games go to the 20th over and win the game. That’s how we get a lot of TV viewers and all the sponsors like that, so that’s what we want to do.”