Bangladesh’s new T20I captain Nurul Hasan promises ‘fearless cricket’ and a ‘team-first culture’

Bangladesh’s new T20I captain Nurul Hasan wants his side to play “fearless cricket” in Zimbabwe in the three-match series next week. In his first press conference as captain, Nurul offered a glimpse into his thinking as he fended off tough questions about a struggling team and his own performance in the format.

BCB named Nurul captain for only their next three T20I games, replacing Mahmudullah who had been in charge since 2019. But it is a major concern that Bangladesh have won only one of their last 13 T20Is, and have stagnated in the format. It is widely believed that Nurul is a stopgap option before Shakib Al Hasan, who has been rested from the Zimbabwe tour, takes over for the Asia Cup next month.

But Nurul is to be taken seriously. He is known for his shy demeanor off the field and his aggression on it. For a cricketer who only returned to the T20I setup in Bangladesh’s most recent series, it is a big ask to lead a side that has so much expectation riding on it. He said that the characteristic of not being too excitable will be handy for him as captain.

“It is important to play fearless cricket,” Nurul said. “It creates more opportunity. We want to stick to our process too but we can’t plan too far ahead. Captaincy is definitely a matter of pride but I am thinking more about the challenge ahead. At every level I have led teams, I tried to [get the players to] play as a team. I want to continue that team-first culture.

“I have very little expectation and excitement in my life. I don’t worry too much about results or the past. These things don’t really matter to me. I have been successfully doing this for a long time.”

Nurul said he would take the best bits of what he has learned from the previous leaders, but believes that captains differ vastly. “I have learned a lot playing under [Mahmudullah] Riyad bhai,” he said. “I have learned from all our captains, all of whom are quite different. I want to work by taking something from each of those experiences.

“The team culture has improved in the last two years under the senior players. We have to continue on that. You can’t mention the contribution of our senior cricketers in one or two words. They have brought Bangladesh cricket to a level, so now our job is to take it forward.”

Nurul’s T20I record with the bat is modest – 271 runs at an average of 12.90 and a strike rate of 111.98, with a top score of 30 not out from 29 innings – but he felt those numbers didn’t reflect the extent of his contributions.

“The type of batting I do, it creates more impact than what my score often suggests.” he said. “I might score 15-20 runs but it has a direct consequence for the team. I will try to continue in that vein.”

Meanwhile, the man widely tipped to take over from Nurul after the Zimbabwe tour endorsed the new captain. “I think he is a worthy captain,” Shakib said. “BCB also feels he can contribute to Bangladesh’s future, which is why they made him the captain. I wish him well. I hope he can overcome the challenge in Zimbabwe.”

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