Bangladesh are set to face Australia on Saturday in Pune in their final match of the ICC Men’s World Cup 2023.
Having lost six of their eight matches, with their only victories coming against subcontinental rivals Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, Bangladesh has struggled to present a strong challenge to other teams.
Amid these disappointing performances, Bangladesh’s captain Shakib Al Hasan acknowledged that this should be regarded as the worst World Cup performance in Bangladesh’s history.
In fact, if they fail to win on Saturday, it would mark the first ICC ODI World Cup in which Bangladesh had failed to win three matches since the 2003 edition in South Africa, which was only their second appearance at the marquee tournament. Bangladesh were winless that year, courtesy 5 losses and one fixture getting rained out.
In each of the next four World Cups, Bangladesh won three games
Shakib is slated to miss Saturday’s match due to a finger injury sustained in the last match against Sri Lanka. He has already left the team and returned home. In his absence, Najmul Hossain Shanto, the vice-captain of Bangladesh in ODIs, will lead the Tigers against Australia.
This match could potentially mark the last World Cup appearance for the senior duo of the Bangladesh team— Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad. With Mushfiqur over 36 years old and Mahmudullah over 37, it's unexpected that they will participate in the next World Cup scheduled for 2027.
Chandika believes it's their decision if it was their last World Cup. “If they decide to say goodbye, it would be a moment of giving the battle to other hands.”
Before Saturday’s match, Bangladesh had faced Australia three times in the World Cups but had failed to secure a victory in any of those encounters. Winning Saturday’s match could provide Bangladesh with an opportunity to restore some pride lost in the previous matches of this World Cup.