‘Bangladesh should be investing in younger players now’
Former England seamer Dominic Cork opined that Bangladesh should prioritise on their younger players from now onwards.
"The Bangladesh national team has lots of talent. Obviously some senior players lead from the front: Tamim [Iqbal], Shakib [Al Hasan], Mushfiqur [Rahim] and Mahmudullah [Riyad]; these players have been why Bangladesh have had some success. The issue will be when these senior players retire," Cork told The Daily Star's Mazhar Uddin during an exclusive interview.
Asked what should be the way forward for Bangladesh cricket since their seasoned campaigners are approaching the twilight of their careers, the Englishman pointed that the focus should be on the youth and the relevant domestic infrastructure.
"Bangladesh should be investing in their younger players now. It's important they practice and play under intense pressure and a level higher than normal. You will then see who will have a chance of replacing these senior players. Whoever the Under 19's coach is, has a very important job.
"A strong domestic system is obviously the perfect springboard for the international side. Pitches are really important in age-group cricket, leading into first class cricket. The coaches are important and I believe employing some senior successful players and coaches will help set this," he said.
Cork has returned to Bangladesh again as part of the television commentary panel, this time for the ongoing bilateral white-ball series between hosts Bangladesh and England.
"I've been here a few times as a commentator: Under 19's World Cup and England's tour of Bangladesh, both in 2016, and once as a player a long time ago; I think, 1994."
The 51-year-old was "surprised with how much pace and bounce there was in the Mirpur pitch" after watching the first two ODIs of the three-match series in which England cruised to an unassailable 2-0 lead.
"Bangladesh have always been a dangerous side. Despite this [series] loss to England their ODI record is excellent at home. It's difficult to be strong in all formats," said the former England seamer, who had scalped 131 wickets in 37 Tests and 41 ODI dismissals in 32 outings since international debut in 1992 before retiring from both formats in 2002.
Further speaking on the importance of nurturing youth players, Cork addressed how things are operated in England, who are now the reigning ODI and T20I world champions.
"We [in England] have a system which from an early age teaches these bowlers the fundamentals of a strong action. Of course sometimes it doesn't work out but these young players get all the information, fitness and technical advice which will help them in the future."