Jahanara Alam happy to get the same dressing room as last year
Bangladesh pacer Jahanaraa Alam is happy to be drafted in the same team as last year as she gears up for the third edition of the Women’s T20 Challenge starting in the UAE from November 4. Alam is one of the two Bangladeshi players playing in the tournament with Salma Khatun the other.
“I am very happy to get a chance in the same team,” Alam, who played for Velocity under the leadership of Mithali Raj last year told Cricbuzz. “The teammates are extremely supportive and going back to a familiar dressing room always gives you that comfort zone.”
“There is a similarity between me and Mithali and that is both of us like to stay reserved. She doesn’t create any extra pressure but always tells us about the weaknesses of the opposition batsman, which is helpful to us and more importantly she allows you to play your natural game,” she added.
The right-arm almost led her team to the title last year. Defending 121 for 6, Alam dismissed big fishes Natalie Sciver and Sophie Devine in her first three overs giving away only eight runs. But her final over which yielded 10 runs cost them the match. Alam hopes to make that experience count and do better this time.
“I still regret that we failed to become champions last time. I bowled well in the first three overs but in the last over I gave away 10 runs (13 runs). If I had bowled a little tighter in the fourth over and managed to get a breakthrough, then things could have been different. If I face a similar situation I will try to do the best by using the experience of last year and try to contribute for the team,” she said.
After Bangladesh’s forgetful performance in the T20 World Cup, Alam has used the lockdown time to the most. With no option to go out for training, Alam set up a gym set up at her home and invested a lot of time in her.
“I am very satisfied with my individual preparation considering everything that I had done during the lockdown period,” she said. “When no one was permitted to go out I did my workout through running on the stairs of my house. At that point in time I also purchased gymnastics equipment for my house and I can say I am probably the first women among players to make a gym in the house.
“It is not so big but can do the work so you can say I have invested in myself ahead of the tournament.” She also added that her stint with Bangladesh Game Development coach Mahbub al Zaki was extremely helpful.
“BCB provided a coach for us as well ahead of IPL and it is good because he is a bowling coach. Zaki Sir worked with us in the national team five-six years ago, and that’s why it’s easy to communicate with him and learn from him,” she said.
Both Alam and Khatun had undergone the first COVID test and came out negative. They will have another before they fly out to UAE on October 21. Upon reaching there all the players will have to undergo mandatory three COVID tests and can only go out training subject to negative results in all three of them.
“It feels very good to get the opportunity again in the tournament and now it depends on Covid test result that will determine whether I will feature in the tournament,” she said. “If everything goes well (passing two tests in Dhaka) then we will go but we have to do three more tests there as well and I have to pass all the corona tests to be eligible for the competition.”