Bangladesh Under-19s will be looking to continue their good recent form when they take on their New Zealand counterparts in a five-match one-day series in Christchurch.
The Young Tigers, who earlier this month suffered the heartbreak of falling just five runs short while chasing a paltry 107-run target in the final of the Under-19 Asia Cup final in Sri Lanka, will leave Dhaka this morning to play the youth ODI series.
It will be the first time that a Bangladesh team will visit New Zealand after the Christchurch mosque shootings that claimed 50 lives on March 15 this year. The Bangladesh Test team were 50 yards from the Al Noor mosque when the shooting took place and escaped to the nearby Hagley Oval. The tour was called off immediately and the team returned home the following day.
The U-19s’ campaign will start with a warm-up match on September 27. The five matches will take place at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Christchurch on September 29, October 2, 6, 9 and 13.
Junior team selector and former national cricketer Hannan Sarkar expressed high hopes about the series while talking to reporters yesterday.
“I will not be surprised if the team win the series by a 5-0 margin. This team has been playing good cricket for the last six months. The boys showed their character in the tri-series in England and then, except the batting in the [Asia Cup] final, they played good cricket. I think the team is shaping up very well ahead of the next [Under-19] World Cup to be held in South Africa in January next year.
“So far, the batting has given the team a lot of confidence, with the exception of the Asia Cup final. Like the senior team, something seems to go wrong when they play in the knockout stage. Now this team has to show the aggression like the India Under-19 team. Indian junior teams just replicate the aggression of their senior team and I think this is the area where we should improve,” he added.
Akbar Ali (captain), Tawhid Hridoy (vice-captain), Tanzid Hasan, Parvez Hossain, Shahadat Hossain, Rakibul Hasan, Asadullah Hill Galib, Shoriful Islam, Mrittunjoy Chowdhury, Mahmudul Hasan, Tanzim Hasanb, Avishek Das, Shamim Hossain, Anik Sarker and Hasan Morad.