Joty '110 percent' hopeful to retain the Asia Cup trophy
The Bangladesh Women's cricket team captain Nigar Sultana Joty brimmed with confidence to retain the trophy of Asia Cup, which Bangladesh will host in the next month.
The Tigresses who won the Asia Cup in 2018 for the first time, beating mighty India in last ball thriller in Malaysia knew that the tag of defending champions is itself a pressure. But they vowed not to back out from materializing the dream given they need to improve the T20 rankings also to make them eligible for T20 World Cup directly.
"Before leaving the country, we said we don't want to play qualifiers anymore. Since we are now in FTP, we will play the T20 matches in bilateral series. There is Asia Cup in which we are defending champions. So our target must be to win the series and win the match. By doing this, if we advance in the rankings, we will not have to play qualifiers next time," Joty said on Tuesday after landing in Bangladesh following their highly successful Qualifiers journey in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Bangladesh became hat-trick champions in T20 Qualifiers of late, beating Ireland in the final. Joty said they now want to focus solely on Asia Cup, which will start in Sylhet from October 1. Like the other time, India who had recently won their first bilateral series on England soil will be
Bangladesh's main contender.
Joty still is keeping Bangladesh ahead as they will be playing at their home soil.
"Since the game is at home, we should put ourselves ahead. I think the biggest motivation is that we have qualified for the World Cup, which is motivating the whole team," she added.
"There are many in our team who have played in the Asia Cup. So everyone is experienced. And we are 110 percent confident to retain the title because we are playing at home and the team is in a good position. So of course I would like to hold the title on our home soil."
All the matches of the tournament will be held in Sylhet. 9 out of 24 matches will be played at Outer Cricket Stadium in Sylhet. The remaining 15 matches will be played at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium. The seven participating teams will face each other in the T20 format tournament. The curtain will come down on October 15 with the finals of the Women's Asia Cup.
Bangladesh women's team did not lose a single match in the T20 World Cup Qualifiers. Therefore, Joty thinks that there is no better preparation for the Asia Cup.
"I would say it was the best preparation for us, because there is no better preparation than playing matches. Since we have been playing in this format, it will help us a lot in the Asia Cup. We are playing together and we got team combination right in the Asia Cup, if we can play as a team, I think there will be a good result in the Asia Cup." -BSS