Bangladesh women’s team ODI captain Rumana Ahmed feels that doing well in the ODIs against Zimbabwe will set the tone for them in the ICC World Cup qualifiers, scheduled in Zimbabwe from November 2021.
Bangladesh are yet to book their place in the 50-over global tournament as they finished fifth in the two qualifying events in 2011 and 2017 respectively. They have featured in the last three editions of ICC Women’s World T20 though.
Bangladesh Cricket Board is leaving no stone unturned as far as preparing their women’s team is concerned ahead of the ICC World Cup qualifiers. BCB organized a month-long residential camp from mid-August to focus on skill and fitness in BKSP, while they have penciled in a three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe before the two sides enter the bio-bubble for the qualifying event to be played in the African nation.
The camp ended with a four-team 50-over tournament featuring all the leading female cricketers of the country while it was conducted by Wahidul Gani, Dipu Roy, Ruhul Amin, Faruque, Shanu and Emon, who had experience of working with women cricketers in Bangladesh.
‘”We have not played there (in Zimbabwe) earlier so doing well against Zimbabwe in the ODIs will be a turning point for us as that will give us the momentum ahead of the qualifiers,” Rumana told Cricbuzz on Saturday.
”We had a one-month camp in BKSP and now we are on a 10-day break. Our next camp will start from September 20 and probably it will continue until we leave for Zimbabwe though I am not sure because we have not got the full schedule yet,” she said.
”We had a camp while we also played some matches and some of the girls performed well so in that way we can say that we are having a good preparation,” she added.
The reigning Asia Cup champions (in T20 format) will take part in the 10-team Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe from November 21 to December 5 and the top three teams from the event will join five other teams in the main event of the 50-over World Cup in New Zealand.
The 10 teams vying for the three World Cup spots include Pakistan, West Indies, Sri Lanka and Ireland – and the five regional qualifiers who won their respective competitions in 2019 alongside Bangladesh.
Hosts Zimbabwe are the Africa regional qualifiers, Thailand are from Asia, Papua New Guinea represent Asia East-Pacific, Netherlands are the European winners and the United States of America will play as Americas champions.
The bilateral series will also be Bangladesh’s first international assignment since the T20 World Cup held in Australia in February-March last year while Bangladesh last played a WODI in November 2019 and according to Rumana playing competitive international cricket will be their biggest challenge.
”Yes (you can say that we are out of international competitive cricket) for quite some time) and that will be one of our major challenge and we have to overcome it by playing with full effort,” she said.
“We know that we have to beat teams like West Indies, Pakistan and Sri Lanka if we want to play in the World Cup and we are getting mentally ready to achieve it because we are working very hard in the camp to make sure we fully prepared and overcome the challenge and earn a spot in the World Cup as that is our first goal at the moment,” she said.
“Look we will be going to Zimbabwe earlier and expected to have a camp as well. The three ODIs are part of the preparation for the qualifiers and we’re not thinking anything else apart but booking our berth in the next World Cup,” she added.
Bangladesh also have the chance to book their place in the next ICC Women’s Championship as the top five from the qualifying event will qualify for the next cycle of the Championship.
The ICC increased the number of teams in the third cycle of the IWC from eight to 10. Bangladesh, who are currently ranked eighth in the ODI team rankings, were not part of the previous IWC cycles.
“If we fail to achieve it (a place in the next World Cup) then obviously our next target will be making sure we are among the top five so that we can get included in the IWC cycles as that will make sure we will be able to play a lot more international matches than what we play at the moment,” she concluded.