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September 17, 2001
The Bangladesh Under-19 squad is teeming with a bunch of promising young players, which predictably will dominate the country's cricket in international arena in near future. These players are being groomed rather stealthily in their BKSP camping under local coaches, at times under renowned cricketing figures like Javed Miandad or Andy Roberts for a shorter period of time.
Their Sri Lankan coach Mr. Carlton always concludes with panegyric notes when he is asked to tell something about his teams' strengths or weaknesses. He can speak more firmly now a days as two world-class cricketers have propped up his belief very recently.
Batting is relatively a weaker part of the Under-19 boys, but surprisingly their bowling hit everyone's eye. I told it surprising because we could measure the potency of our pace bowling in our recent debacles in Multan and Colombo (We captured five wickets in two Tests). We almost gave up a valid hope that we could produce quality fast bowlers.
Bangladesh Under-19, a 22-member squad, is showing us a silver lining on our cricket horizon. At least three bowlers from this juvenile camp are going to emerge as real fast bowlers if they continue working hard the way they are doing now. This statement is made by Andy Roberts, the devastating fast bowler of West Indies in the seventies, who came to guide the boys for a two-week crush program.
Talha Jubair, Kowshik and Shafaq-Al-Jaber are our brightest prospects at this moment - according to Roberts, who happened on the latent potentialities in them during his fifteen-day stay in Bangladesh.
The pace of Kowshik and Talha astonished Javed Miandad, who came as a temporary batting coach and ran his sessions in BKSP nets and Indoor. He was carrying on with the batsmen while Talha and Kowshik were firing on the track, forcing the batsmen playing on back foot only to defend the hostile rising deliveries that hit their gloves for several occasions. The duo was releasing the ball nearly at 85-mile per hour!
The left arm off-spinner Manjarul Islam Rana is growing as a matured bowler and is coming with the goods. He has substantial talents to thrive as an all rounder if he put more efforts on his batting.
U-19 will head off for Australia in October 2001 to take on Common Wealth Bank Academy of cricket (CBCA) that toured Bangladesh in January this year and won almost all the matches they played. So, this tour is a tour of reprisal.
U-19 ended their two one-day trial matches against Bangladesh-A - won the first one and lost the second. They won the match quite convincingly slamming a 49-run defeat over the seniors.
A look back at five high-profile exhibition matches
Bide your time, put your body behind each delivery, and play with the batsman's mind