Sports, Cricket

U19 Women’s WC performances augur well for Bangladesh

Published : 29 Jan 2023 08:35 PM

Dipu Roy Chowdhury, Bangladesh Women's Under-19 team's head coach, feels that their performance in the ICC Women's Under-19 World Cup indicates that they have a strong pipeline to replace the seniors in the future.

The inclusion of four cricketers from the Under-19 squad in the national team for the upcoming ICC Women's World T20 validates the observation.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board included uncapped batter Shorna Akhter, Disha Biswas, MarufaAkter and Dilara Akter though the latter was replaced by Fargana Haque in the 15-member squad after she sustained an injury on her ankle.

Shorna and Marufa were the standout performers for the tourists in the tournament while players like hard hitting opener Afia Humaira, AnamProttasha alongside Disha, Rabeya Khan and Dilara helped them end the tournament with their head held high.

Bangladesh, who defeated India and South Africa in the practice game ahead of the tournament, turned out to be serious contenders for the championship by the end of the group phase as they won all three Group A matches - against Australia, Sri Lanka and USA respectively- to enter into the Super Six phase with a maximum of six points.

However, losing to hosts South Africa in the Super Six stages cost them dearly as they were knocked out despite defeating UAE in their final game. But their performances certainly grabbed eyeballs as the future now looks bright with a few senior players edging closer to the end of their careers.

"Everyone has an age (Salma Khatun and others) and a time will come when they will retire and now we can hope that there are players in the pipeline who can replace them when they are not around," Dipu told reporters after arriving in Dhaka on Friday. "If you talk about power hitting, there is Prottasha and you can also talk about Shorna Akhter and they batted exceptionally well and you cannot understand that without seeing them. It is a positive sign that four cricketers got chance in the national team and there is also one Under-19 cricketer in the bench called Rabeya (Khan)," he said.

"So there will be a competition because unless there is competition the standard won't be high. Those who are in the national team are quite serious because no one can take their place for granted. I feel 60 percent members of the team will play in the next World Cup and they have given an impression that the pipeline is strong in Bangladesh," he said.

Dipu added that he is impressed with the performances of Marufa and Shorna in the tournament and hoped that they will feature regularly in the senior team during the ICC Women's T20 World Cup.

"My personal observation is that Shorna Akhter and MarufaAkter will feature in playing XI in the World Cup and they will become big players in future," he concluded.