The Bangladesh Cricket Board on Wednesday announced a 15-member squad for the upcoming ICC Under-19 World Cup, scheduled to start on January 13 in New Zealand.
Right-handed batsman Saif Hassan was declared as the captain of the side while all-rounder Afif Hossain was named as his deputy for the 12th edition of the tournament.
Saif is one of the two Bangladeshi players to feature in the previous Under-19 World Cup at home where Bangladesh finished third – the best ever result for the team in the tournament.
Opening batsman Pinak Ghosh is the other batsman to get the nod for successive editions.
Bangladesh are placed in Group C along with England, Canada and Namibia and will play their first match against Namibia on January 13 at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln.
Among the regular players, left-arm spinner Mohammad Shakhawat Hossain failed to make it to the squad after he underperformed in the recent Under-19 Asia Cup in Malaysia. He was replaced by Tipu Sultan, the highest wicket-taker in the recent national championship.
Right-arm medium pacer Yeasin Arafat was kept as standby player despite suffering an injury during the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League.
Under-19 coach Damien Wright was delighted with the squad.
‘I am really confident with the group that we have assembled,’ he said at a press conference on Wednesday. ‘I think we have come from a very good campaign in the Asia Cup in Malaysia. The boys have performed particularly well there and I am really confident with the squad,’ said Wright, adding that his target in the tournament will be reaching semi-final at least.
‘It’s important to make sure that Bangladesh Under-19 team perform well and make it to the semi-final, that’s what we’re looking at and that’s our goal,’ he said.
The Junior Tigers will leave Dhaka on December 26 and they will play few matches against a New Zealand provincial side and two practice matches against Afghanistan and Pakistan before the tournament proper.
Squad: Saif Hassan (Capt), Afif Hossain, Pinak Ghosh, Naim Sheikh, Towhid Ridoy, Aminul Islam, Md Rakib, Mahidul Islam, Shakil Hossain, Robiul Haque, Nayeem Hasan, Qazi Onik, Roni Hossen, Hasan Mahmud and Tipu Sultan.
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