Bangladesh women’s U-19 team head coach Dipu Roy Chowdhury feels that their performance in the ICC Women’s Under-19 World Cup indicates that they have a strong pipeline to replace the seniors in the coming days.
Although the junior Tigresses returned home with empty hands but their performance surely came as breeze of fresh air in the women’s cricket circuit as with players like Salma Khatun and others, who are representing the country for a long time now, are at the end of their career and time have arrived for the board to look for new options.
However, they made their situation complicated when they lost to hosts South Africa by five wickets in their opening Super Six games and had to pay for the loss dearly as they were knocked out even after they beat UAE in the last game.
“Everyone has an age (Salma and others) and a time will come when they will retire and now we can hope that there are players in the pipeline who can replace them when they are not around,” Dipu told reporters after arriving in Dhaka on Friday.
“If you talk about power-hitter, there is Prottasha and you can also talk about Shorna Akter and they batted exceptionally well and you cannot understand that without seeing them. It’s a positive sign that four cricketers got a chance in the national team and there is also one Under-19 cricketer on the bench called Rabeya (Khan),” he said.
“So there will be a competition because unless there is competition the standard won’t be high. Those who are in the national team are quite serious because no one can take their place for granted. I feel 60 percent members of the team will play in the next World Cup and they have given an impression that the pipeline is strong in Bangladesh,” he said.
Bangladesh Cricket Board included uncapped batter Shorna Akter, Disha Biswas, Marufa Akter and Dilara Akter Dola though the latter was replaced by Fargana Haque in the 15-member squad after she sustained injury on her ankle.
“My personal observation is that Shorna Akter and Marufa Akter will feature in playing XI in the World Cup and the way they performed they will become big players in the future,” he concluded.
Shorna, who had a wonderful campaign, made the cut as one of the five players who are in contention to bag the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. The five MVP nominees including Shorna – India’s Shweta Sehrawat, England’s Grace Scrivens, Australia’s Milly Illingworth and South Africa’s Madison Landsman -- were shortlisted based on their performances until the end of Super Six group phase.
Shorna -- who had registered 153 runs at an average of 51 and a strike-rate of 157.73, including scalping a wicket as well – was brilliantly consistent across the five matches Bangladesh played, starting with a famous win over eventual semi-finalists Australia.
Big hitter Prottasha said that she is getting ready to play in the senior team while adding that she is eyeing to hone her skill to play attacking brand of cricket in the coming days.
“I am dreaming to play in the national team and for that I need to perform consistently but I feel if I can play to the best of my ability and if I can do the required hard work to enter the national certainly I will get there one day but most importantly I need to improve on day to day basis,” said Prottasha.
“I am an attacking cricketer from the start of early days and not afraid to play my strokes and the best thing was that my team management gave me the freedom to play my natural game,” she said adding that she doesn’t feel meeting the expectation of playing shots will be a problem in the coming days.
“I don’t feel it will be pressure (meeting people’s expectation of clearing the boundaries) and because I can play those shots I will try to give more effort to master it,” she added.