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July 5, 2019

Mashrafe Mortaza

London, England, UK

Pakistan - 315/9 (50), Bangladesh - 221 (44.1)

Q. Mashrafe, the way Bangladesh played, can we say that Bangladesh is the unluckiest team of this World Cup? Lost to New Zealand by two wickets, chased 322, et cetera, et cetera?
MASHRAFE MORTAZA: I can say it both ways. Obviously, a few areas we can prove ourselves that we are capable, but on the other hand, obviously, we need a bit of luck to go everything your way, which is both, I think, we lost.

Q. Captain, you so far finished seventh in the tournament ahead of South Africa. How do you rate this World Cup for Bangladesh team?
MASHRAFE MORTAZA: I think the players has tried their best. As I said, the few areas we could improve a lot. We knew what is our weaknesses, but we couldn't, I think, prove that weaknesses that it can be improved a little bit better, which is, to be honest, obviously, these areas -- obviously, the whole team is disappointed.

But on the other hand, I think the way we played, I think we could have been finished a little bit better than what we did, but, again, if we can finish this match with a good note, it also could have been -- we can say that, okay, it's fine. Some luck wasn't with us, but I think a few boys are really good, a few things have been really good, but a few things have not been with us.

Q. Mashrafe, just wanted to know how you see a couple of things like bowling in the first 20 overs or fielding in many of the matches in Cardiff or some of the other grounds where it was seen that they had a tough time around the outfield as well? And then, of course, a lot of the catches were dropped. Eight catches were dropped in the tournament. Some of your own bowling, little things. But you think, apart from how Shakib played or how Mushi played, and obviously Mustafizur's efforts, these things obviously mattered in the end because you won three games out of eight. Do you think that could have made a difference?
MASHRAFE MORTAZA: A lot of questions. Obviously, little things make a huge difference, that's for sure. First, I think I should talk about Shakib. I think he's been absolutely beautiful. He batted at 3. He had done what he could do. Really feel sorry for him, not only the whole team. The way he played, this team could have been in a different zone than what we are standing right now. I think he's one of the best performances of all time that has been done in World Cup. Still couldn't make semis or the zone that we'd love to. But, again, I think that Shakib knew what his role and what his job going forward. Hopefully, boys will step up next time with him.

And Mushi batted so well. Yes, he's a bit unlucky sometimes, but I think batted so well. The rest of the boys is in and out.

And as far as the fielding and bowling is concerned, obviously, bowling has not been up to the marks, starting from me and obviously others, especially first 10 and 15, or maybe 20 overs, which is we need to pick wickets in that sort of wicket for sure.

Again, I would say some matches was really costing us that fielding, ground fielding, obviously, because being as a bowler, when you stop runs, that sort of wicket, bowlers boost up a lot, which has not been happening when they make, any teams make partnership, we get down and down. A few catches has been dropped obviously, we can say that. Things is happening on the ground. We need to keep making that mistake, believe me, that question will be asked, but I hope that we'll look at it in future, and we'll come back very strongly in those areas where we haven't done very good.

Q. You are yourself a fast bowler? How good was Shaheen through this spell today? He looked like he was -- he gave Pakistan most of their World Cup figures today.
MASHRAFE MORTAZA: I think his bowling, all his matches he played his bowling very good. But I think today he looks very sharp. He's bowling fast, looks even faster today. Ball was gaping a bit. His cutter was working. I think, when any bowlers get wickets in a spell, he feels more confident than who doesn't get a wicket. So he's been bowling well, those matches he played before, and his confidence was there. So he knew what he had to do, which is very positive, which was very positive for him.

Obviously, he bowled very well, and he make the difference between two teams.

Q. A different question. What do you like of the cricketing matches between Pakistan and Bangladesh? Because Bangladesh is going to Pakistan. Pakistan is now going to Bangladesh. Do you think you should play together?
MASHRAFE MORTAZA: Maybe we should play together. At the moment, we're going to Dubai. That question is better to ask both cricket boards because we're not a part of it. Wherever our cricket board asks us to play, we'll play. To be honest, it's not a question that I really can answer to you.

Q. Captain, I would like to know how big a factor Das has been throughout this tournament. And what according to you is the turning point for Bangladesh in this campaign? Has been the turning point in this campaign? The Das factor and the turning point.

Q. No, this whole tournament.
MASHRAFE MORTAZA: I think Das, obviously, those matches that's been happening, wicket gets slower and slower, so Das is obviously going to play a big role. I'm not sure that semis, if they keep fresh wicket for the semis, then it will be a bit different, but most of the matches that have been happening now at the end, I think, for those it was true. For that, the toss has become very important, which is normally England this part it's not, but suddenly it's become.

Other things, turning point, if you go the negative way, which is we didn't do well, I think obviously bowling and fielding has been very disappointing. And positive side, Shakib and the batting that we did. I think batting is something we can take positive things, which has really helped future to understand that we can score now 300 or even asking sometimes more, we can run for it.

Q. Mashrafe, now for Bangladesh, what are the areas you think Bangladesh would pay attention immediately to improve that team for the future? And also secondly, what is your personal plan for the future? Can you please elaborate?
MASHRAFE MORTAZA: First thing that, obviously, going forward, Bangladesh need to concern about -- if you're asking this sort of tournament, like World Cup, Champions Trophy, or maybe T-20 World Cup is coming, that sort of tournament, obviously bowling is a big issue, if we play in this part because this part is always flat. But if we play in Asia, I think it will be a far better bowling site than what we are in here.

So I think we need to find our best ways to bowl them out or maybe restrict them and tell them we can chase out. Batting hasn't been an issue before World Cup. What can I do? But I think boys are clear what they can do. Fielding, it has been concern there all of my career that I've seen, when someone's get partnership, we get down and down, as I said. This is the part really particularly the player can change. These things, I think, we really need to improve fielding.

Q. (No microphone)?
MASHRAFE MORTAZA: My future plan is, obviously, going home from here, and I will have a think.

Q. Mashrafe, you were fortunate that you qualified for the quarterfinal in the last World Cup of 2015, and this time your team performed pretty well but unlucky. Are you satisfied with the format of this World Cup where each team is playing each other?
MASHRAFE MORTAZA: I think that format I loved because every team has been exposed with other teams. To be honest, I think few people will not be very happy with my word, but I feel sorry also for them, those who couldn't contribute their country to this World Cup, that the fans are so unlucky that they couldn't play the World Cup. Obviously, I feel sorry for them.

But if you're asking about the tournament, how exciting it is, obviously, it's been very exciting. Playing each other, to know our strengths, to know our weaknesses, and how can we improve our game going forward, it's really very exciting tournament.

Good luck to those who are going to semis, and hopefully the three best matches is coming up.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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