Mortaza confident Bangladesh are in good nick

Captain Mashrafe Mortaza is convinced Bangladesh can take their form of the past two years on to one of the sport’s grandest stages as they gear up for their first Champions Trophy since 2006.

Bangladesh have risen to number six in the ODI Rankings ahead of the tournament, and confidence is high as they prepare to face off against Australia, New Zealand and hosts England in Group A.

And after being at the helm of the country’s rise in the 50-over format, Mashrafe is adamant the good times can keep coming in this competition.

Indeed, the 33-year-old is hopeful this is just the beginning for Bangladesh, though he is under no illusions about the challenge that lies ahead, particularly with the unfamiliar conditions in front of his team at The Oval and Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.

“We are ranked sixth, it is a pleasure for us, and the team is very happy with that,” said Mashrafe. “We want to move on from here and want to go as far as we can in the world.

“This tournament is going to be hard for us, playing a group that is very hard in the conditions, but on your day, you can do anything, we have quality players who can change the game. We’ll have to play as a team as we have been doing so far.

“There are expectations, once you play for your country there is always pressure. I think in this tournament, it is not going to be easy, so we have to concentrate on our own game. We want to play the way we have played over the past two years and execute our skills well.”

Bangladesh has shown itself to be no pushover in global tournaments, beating England at the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup to reach the knockout stages.