~~No illusions about chances in Champions~~

Published: Monday, October 2, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi: Coach Dave Whatmore says Bangladesh are under ''no illusion'' about their chances in the Champions Trophy and would instead like to use the tournament to prepare a side for the future.

Bangladesh, who arrived here yesterday, take on Sri Lanka in the tournament opener on October 7 in Mohali. The two South Asian sides along with West Indies and Zimbabwe are in the qualifying stage out of which only two teams will advance to the main draw.

''We are under no illusion but Bangladesh team is capable and efficient of beating the best in the business. We have done it in the past and we can do it again,'' Whatmore said in a post arrival conference here today.''However, we have even more important things in mind than the trophy or even the World Cup. Of course they are also important but our main objective is to build a strong and competitive side over a period of time.

''That's where our focus will be when we take on the bigger sharks in the pool. We want to use the tournament as an opportunity to test our strength and showcase our talent,'' Whatmore added.

On Mohammad Ashraful's poor run, the coach hoped the batsman would strike form soon and added that anyway they were not looking at individual performances but the collective effort.

Meanwhile, skipper Habibul Bashar said the team would like to win atleast two of their three qualifying matches so as to put themselves in an advantageous position.''On a given day we can beat anyone. We've beaten both Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in the past. If we win two matches here (in the qualifying stage), we might just qualify for the main event,'' the captain said.

On the tournament favourites, Whatmore sided solely with the Australians whereas Habib handpicked hosts India besides the World Champions as the front-runners.


Habibul Bashar (c), Shahriar Nafees (v-c), Abdur Razzak, Aftab Ahmed, Farhad Reza, Khaled Mashud (wk), Mashrafe Mortaza, Mehrab Hossain (jr), Mohammad Ashraful, Mohammad Rafique, Rajin saleh, Saqibul Hasan, Shahadat Hossain, Syed Rasel.

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