It is not only cricketers who follow the game passionately, but stars from all sports disciplines in Bangladesh follow cricket and have their own personal favourites when it comes to cricket teams and cricketers. They may stay busy with their own schedules, but whenever they get time these sports individuals tune in to their TV sets to watch the Tigers in action. The Daily Star's Anisur Rahman spoke to some of the sports stars regarding their expectations from the Tigers in the 2019 ICC World Cup.
SA Games gold medallist shooter
Cricket is an outdoor sport. That's why it is much more popular than shooting. I became second among 75 nations in Commonwealth Games but I am hardly known by countrymen because shooting is an indoor sport. However, I am wishing the national cricket team every success in the ICC World Cup and hope that they will fulfil the expectations of 16 crore people.
Mahfuza Khatun Shila
SA Games gold medallist swimmer
Cricket is a big sport in the context of Bangladesh and the results of the cricket team is also good. We see many athletes don't play for medals, but cricketers do it for prize and they have gone to the England World Cup to achieve something. I hope the cricket team achieve their target by playing well.
Nabib Newaj Jibon
Striker of the national football team
It is needless to say cricket is now the most popular sport in Bangladesh. I am proud of the cricket team. As a footballer, I don't get much time to watch cricket but I follow it on social media. Bangladesh, under the leadership of Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, is a very good side who I hope will reach the semifinals. I want the cricketers do something especial to make everyone proud.
Former captain of national football team
Bangladesh did really well in the tri-nation series in Ireland, riding on experienced cricketers like Mashrafe, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim. I hope they will carry those performance into the World Cup. I want to wish the cricketers best for the World Cup and I believe they have the ability to play the semifinals.
Farhad Ahmed Shitul
Captain of national hockey team
It is a matter of pride for us that Bangladesh is playing in the World Cup. We also dream to play in hockey World Cup in future. I really pray from the bottom of my heart that Bangladesh play the final and fulfil the expectations of countrymen. I always try to manage time to watch Bangladesh's matches and there will be no exception this time around.
Seven-time fastest man of Bangladesh
I just watched an interview of Mehdi Hasan Miraz on TV and am preparing to watch the practice-match between Bangladesh and Pakistan. So you can understand how much I follow cricket. Bangladesh team is ready to take the challenge against any opponent in the World Cup and I believe they will produce good results compared to the last World Cup.
SA Games silver medallist wrestler
I'm a fan of Shakib Al Hasan and Mosaddek Hossain. I want Bangladesh to bring the trophy of the World Cup. Good results in cricket and football always inspire other athletes in Bangladesh, so I want cricketers to do it for the other athletes.
Sayeed Al Zabir
National Volleyball player
I'm a crazy fan of cricket. I even go to the stadium to watch matches of Bangladesh. Mustafizur Rahman and Soumya Sarkar are from my home town of Satkhira. I think if Bangladesh can maintain their consistency and perform like they did in the tri-nation series recently, they can will reach semifinals. It is also the last World Cup for cricketers like Mashrafe Bhai, so I want this World Cup be memorable one for them.
Captain of Bangladesh Kabaddi team
I spent some memorable time with Mashrafe Bin Mortaza during the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. Since then I have been watching Bangladesh's matches regularly. I am confident that under captaincy of Mashrafe, Bangladesh will produce really good results.