Mehidy Hasan Miraz, the 21-year-old all-rounder of Bangladesh national cricket team, is all set to appear in his first World Cup with the senior side when it is played from May 30 to July 14 in England and Wales. Previously he led the Bangladesh U-19 team that reached the semifinals of the 2016 U19 World Cup held in Bangladesh.
Later that year, Mehidy was fast-tracked into the Tigers senior team. In a memorable Test debut, he stunned England bagging 12 wickets with his disciplined off-spin. Since then, he never looked back. The right-handed all-rounder has established himself as an integral part of the Tigers set-up. Mehidy Hasan Miraz (MM) sat down for a chat with UNB Staff Writer Saif Hasnat (SH) recently. Excerpts:
SH: Dhaka Premier League just ended. You played eight matches and scored 64 runs with taking nine wickets. It is believed that the league was a chance for good preparation for the players who will take part in the World Cup. Was it really like that? How good was your preparation?
MM: Yes, it was a golden chance for getting prepared ahead of the World Cup. I have tried a lot to perform better. But I could not do it up to the expectation due to injury or sometimes it was too hard for the body due to extensive workouts. However, in the end, it was a very good platform to prepare before the World Cup.
SH: It will be your first World Cup. How does it feel to play in the biggest stage of cricket?
MM: It is a very big opportunity for me. It was my dream to play the World Cup since I started playing cricket for Bangladesh. If I can play better it will be helpful for my country and at the same time, it came as a big opportunity to show my worth to the World. If I get a chance in the playing XI, I will try to give the hundred per cent in the field.
SH: You played in the ICC Champions Trophy in England in 2017. Do you think that experience will help you here in the World Cup now?
MM: Yes, it will help us in the World Cup. We really played a good brand of cricket in the Champions Trophy. We reached the Semi-Finals which was our best performance in an ICC event after playing Quarter-Finals in the World Cup 2015. However, we have lost the semi to India. But, this time, I hope we will do something memorable.
SH: As per the record, you are very effective as a bowler in the sub-continent. But you have failed on various occasions in the other countries. You have to work hard to take wickets outside the sub- continent. How do you see this challenge in the World Cup which is scheduled to be played in England, which is not friendly to spinners?
MM: I get help on the wickets of Asia. But when the game is outside Asia, it is tough for the spinners because we don’t get much spin in those conditions. I have played the last Asia Cup in UAE where I did well with the ball (4 wickets in 6 matches conceding 171 runs). But when the games are in Europe, my main target remains to concede fewer runs and support the pace bowlers. If a spinner is economical, it helps the pace bowlers to attack. I will try to do this in the World Cup as well.
SH: In your cricketing days at age level, you used to say that you are a batting all-rounder. And you also have some good knocks at the age level. But currently, your bowling is the most talked-about side of your game. Do you think your battling is being neglected somehow?
MM: Actually, I am not getting much opportunity to show my batting ability. But whenever and wherever I get the chance to bat I try to give my best. I believe I will get chance to bat at a toper place in the batting line in the future which will help me flourish as a batsman in the national team.
SH: What do you think about Bangladesh’s chances in the World Cup?
MM: I think the upcoming World Cup will be a special World Cup for us because we have some senior cricketers who have been playing for the Tigers for a long time now and they are capable of doing big things. We have four players who have played three World Cups. So we can expect big things from them. At the same time, there are some world class players in the junior bunch of the guys. If we can create a good combination mixing both of them, it will be a World Cup which will be memorable to all of us.