National selector and former Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar was really excited about the young pacers in High Performance Unit and tipped them to be the future of national team’s pace brigade.
Bangladesh team saw a drastic improvement in their fast bowling department during the 2015 ICC World Cup but failed to continue that upward trend.
With Mashrafee bin Murtaza nearing the end of his career and pacers Rubel Hossain and Shafiul Islam entering their 30s, selectors may look to inject some young blood in this area and they have a few pacers under the scanner.
Bashar expressed high hopes about some of the upcoming pacers who possess decent pace and have good height.
‘Actually, I am pretty excited about some of the young pace bowlers, who are part of our High Performance squad,’ Bashar told New Age on Wednesday.
‘You have seen Shoriful [Islam] in the Under-19 team but before that he was part of our HP team. Mukidul Islam Mugdho is another genuine prospect. I am very hopeful about Mahmudul Hasan; he is a very quick bowler.
‘The most exciting feature of this batch is there are some really tall guys. In fast bowling, height matters. When we go abroad, our pacers fail to extract bounce from the wicket due to their short height, but there are some tall boys in this group,’ he added.
Former Sri Lankan pacer and current High Performance head bowling coach Champaka Ramanayeke was looking after the young talents in the HP squad and Bashar spoke very highly of him.
‘Champaka is doing really well with these boys. Some of them are still young at age, 17, 18 or 19. We hope that in coming one or two years, we can have a pool of good pacers,’ he said.
Bashar was particularly impressed by Hasan Mahmud, who made his international debut in a Twenty20 international against Zimbabwe in March, and also named Mukidul and Shoriful as promising fast bowling prospects.
‘Hasan Mahmud could be the next speedster. He is a smart boy, got genuine pace. If he doesn’t suffer any injury, keeps his head cool he can be a really big asset,’ said the former Bangladesh captain.
‘Mukidul is promising; he bowls fast and could bowl faster with proper guidance. We have seen Shoriful in the Under-19 World Cup. He was part of our HP team. They all have good prospects, but they have to climb up the ladder with hard-work.’
Current national team bowling coach Ottis Gibson was also keeping a close eye on the HP team pacers, said Bashar.
‘When the national team practices here in Mirpur, we ask the HP unit bowlers to bowl in the nets. There Ottis observes them, passes the necessary instructions to the HP coaches. We have developed a good system so that we can have some good pacers in the pipeline.’
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