For years, Bangladesh have been the whipping boys of international cricket, with the opposition often able to think that they simply had to turn up to beat them. Over the last 18 months though they have turned their fortunes around, and are now one of the teams to watch in the World Twenty20 in India.
Before now, Bangladesh’s most successful performances have come in one day internationals, most famously beating England in the last two Cricket World Cups. They also made it to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 2015, and were unfortunate to lose to India due to a poor umpiring decision.
The Tigers have shown since that World Cup though that they have continued to make huge strides, and have become one of the most dangerous teams in the world. They have now moved up to seventh in the ICC World Rankings in ODI cricket above Pakistan and the West Indies, meaning they secured qualification to the Champions Trophy for the first time in their history, replacing the Windies.
They have become a team capable of causing the big shocks in more recent years, most recently beating India 2-1 in an ODI series at home, a victory that really made cricket fans across the globe turn their heads.
This tournament could be the one for Bangladesh to really stake their claim as one of the world’s best teams in the shorter form of the game. They have a number of exceptionally talented players at their disposal, with Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim all among some of the most dangerous players in the international game. With the tournament taking place in India, it will be played in conditions that Bangladesh are used to, and have thrived in during recent months.
Although it looks incredibly unlikely that Bangladesh could challenge to win the World Twenty20, if all of their players can turn up, they can go far.