Bangladesh batsman Tamim Iqbal says his team is finally getting the respect they deserve as they continue preparations for the upcoming Champions Trophy.
The Tigers, once the whipping boys of world cricket, have risen to number six in the ODI ranking following remarkable results in the last two years in international cricket.
It all started at the 2015 World Cup in Australia, where the Asian side beat England to qualify for the quarterfinals, then followed series wins at home against Pakistan, India and South Africa.
The team are no longer pushovers just hoping for the odd victory but now compete for series wins.
The left-handed Tamim, who is one of the senior statesman and a key member of the side, said the team had to go through tough periods and rode criticism but eventually achieved their goals.
Tamim said: “When your team is winning games, when your team is playing better cricket people will notice you, people will respect you. And we deserve the respect we are getting.
“As a team, we have come up a long way. That time we were ranked 10th, now we are ranked sixth. As I told you before, it didn’t come easy. We had to go through a lot of lost matches, hard work and criticism as well.
“But the last two years has been brilliant for Bangladesh cricket. [We are] probably one of the most successful teams in the world if you see in the last two years.”
The Tigers have the honour of playing the opening game of the Champions Trophy when they take on hosts England in London on Thursday.