Young Tigers need to be nurtured

Atif Azam

27 September, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Young Tigers need to be nurtured

1. Bangladesh U-19 batting coach Mehrab Hossain teaches techniques to the players during a practice session at BKSP recently. 2. A bowler in action as Bangladesh U-19 bowling coach Talha Jubair looks on during a practice session at BKSP.

Defending champions Bangladesh U-19 National Cricket Team are all set to begin their preparation to defend the title by conducting a four-week skill camp with a preliminary squad comprising 28 players at BKSP from October 1.

The new batch of junior Tigers will defend the title when they feature in the upcoming edition of the biggest global age-level tournament that will be hosted by the West Indies in 2022.

Bangladesh maiden Under-19 World Cup win is considered to be their biggest achievement as through accomplishing the feat they tasted success for the first time in an ICC competition.

However, along with the success expectation among fans and media raised in rapid pace to make sure that the next crop of the Under-19 cricketers also managed to earn a similar feat.

Former national selector Sazzad Ahmed, who is now involved with the junior selection panel, accompanied the 46-member squad from start to finish at BKSP for having a close look at the probable’s before trimming the squad.

Sazzad during an exclusive chat with The Daily Sun claimed that he is well aware of expectations adding that it will only put pressure on the young shoulders.

Sazzad is not ready to welcome it that is expected to follow them all through their journey coming from fans and media in particular as he feels it can turn out to be the biggest hindrance behind the development of the Under-19 squad.

“I know there will be expectations from fans and media but we need to understand putting pressure on young kids will hardly benefit for us in the long run as it will only hamper their performance,” said Sazzad.

“The squad is quite balanced and there is a lot of variety that I consider to be their biggest strength but it’s too early to predict as they need to develop them sufficiently so that they can compete and leave their mark against any opponent,” he said.

“Surely defending the title is our main goal but I am not ready to accept it as the benchmark of our strength considering there are lots of other factors that need to be addressed apart from retaining the crown,” he said adding that even BCB’s game development chairman Khaled Mahmud, who is considered to be the architect behind the success of Akbar, echoed the same sentiment.

Sazzad added that they are planning to develop the mindset required to excel in a 50-over match in the coming days considering the cricketers are habituated of playing longer-version cricket at different age-level competitions.

“They need to develop a game sense of 50-over matches as they lack it considering they are groomed playing longer-version at different age-level tournaments,” he said.

“The more they play; the more they will learn and there are few very talented youngsters who have the potential to go a long way if we can provide a platform for them by executing our plans properly,” he added.  

BCB on September 24 announced that the 28 players called up to the camp will report at the Krira Palli in Mirpur on September 29 to undergo COVID-19 tests on the following day and the COVID-19 negative will get into the BKSP bound bus while according to the training module of the skill camp there are five 50-over matches slated respectively on October 17, 18, 22, 24 and 26.

BCB officials informed that they have rescheduled Bangladesh U-19’s tour to Pakistan that was scheduled in coming October to play the series comprising five 50-over matches and two four-day games due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The tourists are eyeing to tour Pakistan in 2021 though the dates are yet to be finalised but in all likelihood it will be after April considering Bangladesh are scheduled to host Pakistan’s Under-19 squad in April 2021.

Bangladesh U-19 head coach Naveed Nawaz, who guided the team to success, will have the chance to have a look at his charges as he will conduct the skill camp.

Nawaz and trainer Richard Stonier returned to Dhaka earlier and completed their respective quarantine period to make them available for the camp that will focus on skills and conditioning along with growing match sense in the 50-over format.

Nawaz will work with a relatively new team management group as BCB decided to introduce a new coaching set-up for the next U-19 squad in order to develop local coaches of BCB’s game development unit and as a result opted to replace the previous local coaching set-up despite they managed to complete a successful campaign.

Bangladesh former national opener Mehrab Hossain will fulfill the role of batting coach while national pace bowler Talha Jubair will act as the bowling coach while the fielding unit will be monitored by another former national Mohammad Salim.

“We are trying to develop our local coaches and unless we give them international exposure we cannot widen their knowledge and experience and so we decided to introduce a new member in the coaching panel to assist head coach Naveed,” he said.

Primary Squad: Mofijul Islam, Emon Ali, Iftakhar Hossain Ifti, Habibur Shaikh Munna, Prantik Nowrose Nabil, Shakib Shahriyer, Sohag Ali, Meherob Hasan, Abdullah Al Mamun, Khalid Hasan, Aich Mollah, Ashraful Hasan Rihad Khan, Musfik Hasan, Arif Ahmed Anik, Bayzid Miya Roman, Ashiqur Zaman, Mohiuddin Tareq, Ripon Mondol, Mustakim Mia, Ahosun Habib Leon, Naimur Rohman Noyon, Ashraful Islam Siam, Misbah Ahmed Sana, Maksudur Rahman, Golam Kibria, Mahfuzur Rahman Rabby, Jillur Rahman and Zakaria Islam Shanto.