Bangladesh leapfrog WI to claim 8th position in Test for first time Akram hopes Tigers would also improve T20 ranking

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Sports desk: Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) director and its cricket operation committee chairman Akram Khan expressed his satisfaction over the uptrend of Bangladesh cricket in ICC rankings, stating that they will soon improve their T20 rankings.

With 75 points, Bangladesh are currently placed 10th in ICC T20 rankings, where in Pakistan led the chart with 130 points along with Australia (126), India (123), New Zealand (116), England (115), South Africa (114), West Indies (114), Afghanistan (87) and Sri Lanka (85). Only Zimbabwe among the Test nations are below Bangladesh in T20 rankings.

Now Bangladesh placed seventh in ICC ODI rankings with 93 points just after England, who have overtaken India to seize the top spot in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings following the annual update (125) rise up the table is largely because of a forgettable 2014-15 season which saw them winning only seven out of 25 ODIs against other full ICC members, India (122), South Africa (113), New Zealand (112), Australia (104) and Pakistan (102). World Cup champions West Indies and Sri Lanka along with Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Ireland are positioned under Bangladesh, who gained three points.

On Saturday, they also bettered their Test rankings where they placed eighth with 75 points just after India (125), South Africa (112), Australia (106), New Zealand (102), England (98), Sri Lanka (94) and Pakistan (86). The once world-dominating West Indies and Zimbabwe are below Bangladesh. This is for the first time that Bangladesh go up West Indies in ICC Test rankings.

“The way we started our Test many from different quarters told that ICC should have not given Test status to Bangladesh or ICC should take Test status back from Bangladesh. But our players in right way gave their answer,” said Akram Khan.

“It’s more important that the way our players and board are going forward, if we both maintain its continuation, we’ll then be going forward further,” Akram told media on National Cricket Academy (NCA) premises just after his individual practice for the Masters Cricket Carnival, a former-cricketers platform, which has been started in Cox’s Bazar since yesterday.

“It’s a good achievement for Bangladesh. We have already improved our rankings in one-day. We’ve progressed to Test also. InshaAllah, we’ll replicate our improvement in T20 within the short span of time,” he added.

The former captain said that they are focusing more on producing quality back-up players to continue this uptrend progress of the Bangladesh cricket.

Citing the names of the senior most players of the team- Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad and Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, he also said that the young generation should follow their footsteps to reach their height.

“It’s a very important for us. Along with we’re lucky enough that our five players have been playing together for us since 10 to 12 years. It’s very rare fact. It’s a good thing that they’re performing well and bring Bangladesh to such a position,” the quadragenarian Akram said.

“Those who are in our line-up have to follow them to reach to their height. For giving them impetus, we’ve brought changes in our central contract. We’re trying our best to produce our back-up players,” he continued.

“Our board president told us to start a bowling camp. We’ve needed quality bowlers in Test to take more wickets. Along with that, batsmen are also important. We’ve kept in mind so that we could create quality back-up players such as bowlers and batsmen. We’ve a good number of talented players-Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad,” he added.

“They came to the fore by their own efforts but others could not do it. The young generation should follow them. In future, we needed six to seven more such type of players to improve our rankings,” he signed off.

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