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Shakib impressed by youngsters’ performance

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 8 January, 2022 12:00 AM
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Shakib impressed by youngsters’ performance

Ace Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan feels that their maiden Test win against New Zealand has proved many, who believe the team is only senior five oriented, wrong.

“The most pleasing thing is that the media always feel that there is no player in Bangladesh apart from the four to five cricketers of ours. At least that is proved wrong and I believe they (young cricketers) will play better in the future if they are given responsibility,” Shakib told reporters during a contract signing programme in the capital on Friday.

Bangladesh’s fabulous five - Mashrafe Mortaza, Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib - remained an integral part of their success for a long time.

Mashrafe last played a Test back in 2009 while Mahmudullah retired from the format last year.

 Among the rest of the three, Shakib didn’t travel to New Zealand for a family reason while Tamim was ruled out due to injury. Mushfiqur was the only cricketer from the senior five group to represent Bangladesh in the match.

However, the visitors earned the win on the back of brilliant performances from their young group as Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Najmul Hossain Shanto and Ebadat Hossain played important roles which were complemented well by the seniors like Mominul Haque, Liton Das and Mehidy Hasan.

“The way the year started is unbelievable. I’m very happy. Credit should be given to every player of the team, the coaching staff. The way everyone tried (was brilliant) because we didn’t play well last year,” said Shakib.

“This year is a big challenge for us and we started on a high note. I hope we can do better in the future. Actually, on rare occasions, Bangladesh play such good cricket and they played impressively in such a tricky condition under so much pressure,” he added.

Shakib is currently eyeing to make a return to international cricket through their upcoming home series against Afghanistan. Bangladesh are scheduled to host Afghanistan for a five-match white-ball series in February comprising three ODIs and two T20Is.

Ahead of the series, Shakib will take part in the upcoming Bangladesh Cricket League’s one-day format, scheduled from January 9 while he will also play in the Bangladesh Premier League T20, slated from January 21.

“BCL one-day is part of the preparation,” said Shakib, who hardly plays domestic cricket apart from BPL.

“We have a busy international cricket schedule coming ahead and so I want to start international cricket with the best possible fitness and performance.  I think BCL is a good build for that.

 “If I can play a few matches in BCL and then if I can take the confidence from the BPL matches it will be good for me ahead of ODIs and T20s against Afghanistan,” he concluded.