Bangladesh wicketkeeper and former skipper Mushfiqur Rahim hopes to represent his nation in next Cricket World Cup scheduled to happen in India in 2023.
Rahim has been an integral part of a unit, which has seen a significant rise in the past few years. He has been leading team’s batting unit with Shakib-Al-Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, averaging 47.21 since 2015.
Mushfiqur, now 32, has made his intentions cleared about ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, and said will eye one series at a time to prepare for the big goal.
"Definitely, I have a big plan, but I like to think series-by-series," Rahim told Cricbuzz. "And I prepare according to that and also practice according to that. When you will think series by series, it will help to keep your form. If you think so far, it becomes tough to maintain the consistency. We have to think slot-by-slot, but at the end of the day, it's far away. But it is my goal - to play 2023 World Cup."
Quarter-finalists of Cricket World Cup 2015, Bangladesh might have finished in the eighth position in World Cup 2019, but impressed everyone with some engrossing wins against quality oppositions like South Africa and West Indies and posing a tough challenge against the table-toppers India, and eventual runner-ups New Zealand.
Shakib had a tremendous World Cup as he was outstanding with both bat and ball, as he scored 606 runs and scalped 11 wickets from his eight innings, which is apparently the best performance by an all-rounder in World Cup. Rahim finished as team’s second-leading scorer with 367 runs.
"If you see the best batsmen list at No.4 currently, I think I will be at second (after Ross Taylor in this World Cup)," Rahim said. "So it is a big satisfaction. It also inspires me to do more hard work to achieve more success and face more challenges. And also prepare myself better to face more challenges. So whatever I have done, I am happy, but not as much as I expected but yes, I contributed in some matches that helped our team achieve victory.”
"I'm not growing any younger, so I will try play in a way that I will have more impact. To be honest, I am in the last phase, so I don't have any time to relax. After playing cricket for 10-15 years now, it is high time to take my game to the next level - like playing match-winning innings and not just a 50 or 60. I have gained that belief (to take my game to the next level) because when you perform against a strong attack, in tough conditions, you gain that."
There has been a lot in the air about comparisons within the Bangladesh team, who is better cricketer between Rahim and Tamim. Rahim said two share positivity and healthy competition, which in turns benefits to the side.
"Yes, definitely, we have that competition of beating each other. So the amount of runs that Tamim has made, if I can do the same, then definitely it will be a huge contribution for Bangladesh cricket. If I do, I can win Bangladesh many matches alone. And the way Shakib was batting (in the World Cup), if he continues in the same form, it will be better for both him and our team. And young players like Soumya and Liton, if they become more consistent, it will be better for the team and them."