Bangladesh cricket team captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza said there should be no public pressure on his team to win or even reach the semi-finals of the World Cup (MUNIR UZ ZAMAN)

Dhaka (AFP) – Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza on Monday called on the country’s fans to douse their expectations for the World Cup and avoid putting unwanted pressure on the team.

After Bangladesh’s appearance at the Champions Trophy semi-finals two years ago and the Asia Cup final last year, national hopes of a winning streak at the World Cup have skyrocketed.

But the 35-year-old captain called for calm ahead of the team’s departure for a warm-up tournament in Ireland, before the World Cup starts on May 30 in England and Wales.

“You are saying this is our best ever team, but that’s not important,” said Mashrafe.

“We went to the Asia Cup with the same team but could not win it. We played in the Champions Trophy semi-final, we had the same team. So there is no need to create hype,” he pleaded.

“The best team does not always win,” added Mashrafe, who said the players do not need the “extra pressure on us” and that he preferred to believe in “luck”.

Mashrafe said there should be no public pressure to win or even reach the semi-finals.

“If you ask the ex-players and analysts they will tell you we are not among the favourites. If we can do something, people’s attitude towards us will change.”

Bangladesh won 13 one-day internationals last year. Among the World Cup countries, only India and England did better.

Bangladesh open their World Cup campaign against South Africa at the Oval, London, on June 2.

Disclaimer: Validity of the above story is for 7 Days from original date of publishing. Source: AFP.