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Need to give youngsters enough chances before 2019 WC, says BCB head

Bangladesh are focussing on giving youngsters a longer rope in order to prepare for the World Cup in 2019.

Nazmul Hassan BCB
Bangladesh Cricket Board President Nazmul Hassan Papon speaks during a press conference. (Photo by STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

Bangladesh is an ever improving side in international cricket. They showed resilience in the just-concluded ICC Champions Trophy to beat a formidable New Zealand side to enter into their maiden semi-finals of an ICC event. The process of evolvement never stops hence the Tigers must focus on getting better, especially away from home.

‘Seniors have done well but youngsters stepping up too’

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The senior players of the side have stepped up in pressure situations which have inspired youngsters to express themselves. Mashrafe Mortaza has led the side well and is still one of their vital bowlers alongside Shakib Al Hasan. However, there is a question mark on his fitness and the possibility of him carrying on till the World Cup which is scheduled in 2019. Bangladesh Cricket Board President Nazmul Hasan has acknowledged the contributions of the senior members of the side but pressed on giving more chances to youngsters before the World Cup which will be held in England.

“Bangladesh are playing well at the moment. Many people will talk about the performance of the Bangladesh team and the players have a lot of well-wishers but that does not mean I am not accepting the contribution of the senior players. If you see the major break-through of Bangladesh cricket came in the bilateral series against Pakistan, South Africa, India and against New Zealand where we have beaten them previously.”

Nazmul made special mention of the performances of young opener Soumya Sarkar, Mustafizur Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain and young off-spinner Mehedi Hasan, who picked 19 wickets in 2 Tests against England at home in his debut series.

“These three series have been the major break-through and if you have noticed, along with Shakib, Tamim and Mushfiq, the contribution from the new players behind the success was huge. Soumya Sarkar played outstandingly against South Africa while during those three series. Especially against India, Mustafizur Rahman played a big role. Mosaddek Hossain’s knock in the 100th Test against Sri Lanka was vital and without his contribution, it would have been almost impossible to win the game. The way Mehedi Hasan Miraz bowled against England in the Test series was extraordinary. So look, the contributions from the newcomers are there.”

Nazmul hints at rotating players

Nazmul stressed on giving youngsters a fair run before the World Cup. He was open to adopting a rotation policy where the seniors will be rested to give juniors a chance. The President feared of a transition phase which is not far away from Bangladesh.

“We have many talented cricketers in the country. But the problem is who to replace. If we don’t give the youngsters the opportunity to play then how will they compete all of a sudden in the 2019 World Cup? That’s not possible. So it’s important to give the youngsters some opportunity in the team to play now. And if you want to include the newcomers, someone has to make way for them. And then the questions may arise that there might be some problem in the board. But the fact is we have to give the opportunity to the newcomers for the sake of the team and country. But that doesn’t mean those who will be rested are going to lose their place in the team. It’s difficult to say that a new player will immediately start to perform but if we don’t give them the opportunity then that’s a problem. All of a sudden our six-seven senior players will retire from international cricket in future then we will face a huge vacuum to fill,” said Nazmul to the media at his corporate office in Dhanmondi on Sunday.

Captaincy might be an issue as Mashrafe might not last till the World Cup but Nazmul said that nothing is certain now while hinting at keeping the options open.

After hosting Australia for 2 Tests in August, Bangladesh will depart for South Africa for a full tour which will consist of 2 Tests, 3 ODIS and 2 T20s. The Tigers need a big performance to prove their progress in international cricket against a top ranked nation.

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