DUBAI: Newly-appointed Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan played down his team's chances at the Asia Cup and said his goal for the tournament is to prepare for the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.
Bangladesh will travel to the UAE for the upcoming Asia Cup on the back of a poor run in the shortest format of the game and with Shakib given another chance at the captaincy after Mahmudullah's three-year reign finished earlier this year.
Shakib's side is drawn in Group B against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka for the six-team tournament that commences on August 27 and the star all-rounder is keeping his expectations low for the showcase event.
"I have no goals," Shakib said when asked about how his team will perform at the Asia Cup. "My only aim is that we can do well in the (T20) World Cup and these are the preparations for it. If someone thinks that I can change things within one or two days or that someone else will come to change it, then we are living in a fool's kingdom. If you are able to think practically, our true development will be seen when the team really does well in the World Cup in three months' time, " said Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan.
Bangladesh have won just two 20-over matches since last year's T20 World Cup in Oman and the UAE and their most recent series triumph in the shortest format of the game came almost 12 months ago against New Zealand at home.
And while Bangladesh have never won the Asia Cup, they have finished runner-up three times at the event in 2012, 2016 and 2018 with Shakib featuring on each occasion. But the veteran is not expecting any miracles this time around and said patience must be shown as the next generation of Bangladesh's white-ball performers get used to his captaincy style once again.
"See, we first played this type of version (format) in 2006. Since then, we have not had good results, except the Asia Cup final," Shakib noted. "We are far behind in this version from that point so we have no choice but to make a new start. When a baby starts walking (the first) steps are very difficult but gradually things become easier and I hope that we will also be able to start walking step by step like a baby and then move forward, " added Shakib Al Hasan Bangladesh's first game at the Asia Cup is against Afghanistan in Sharjah on August 30, before an eagerly-awaited encounter against Sri Lanka in Dubai on September 1.
Bangladesh Asia Cup squad: Shakib Al Hasan (c), Anamul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim, Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Mahmudullah, Mahedi Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Hasan Mahmud, Mustafizur Rahman, Nasum Ahmed, Sabbir Rahman, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Ebadot Hossain, Parvez Hossain Emon, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Taskin Ahmed.