The Bangladesh Cricket Board announced a 15-member squad on Monday for the Asian Cricket Council Under-19 Asia Cup to be held in Kuala Lumpur from June 23. The team led by Asif Ahmed Ratul will leave for Kuala Lumpur on June 21. Bangladesh has been placed in Group B along with Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Qatar while Group A comprises of India, Pakistan, Nepal and Malaysia.
Bangladesh will play their first group match against Qatar on June 23 at the Selangor Turf Club before taking on Sri Lanka on June 24 at the Bayuemas Oval. They meet Afghanistan in their last group match on June 26 at the Kinrara Oval.
â€œWe hope the team will reach the semifinals as group champions. This tournament gives us an opportunity to understand our strength ahead of the ICC Under-19 World Cup (to be held in Australia in August),â€ said Nazmul Abedin Fahim, deputy national manager of the BCB's game development committee, yesterday.
â€œThe preparation is not bad. It could have been much better if we could play the proposed series against Pakistan in April but recently this team has played three practice matches against a strong CCDM Under-21 team in Khulna, winning all three,â€ he added.
Some well-known names in the squad like Anamul Haque has been missing but Fahim said that these new guys have good understanding among them since they have been playing together for the last two years.
â€œFew regular players missed the tournament due to injury but we hope they will be fit again before the World Cup.
"Most of the players in the squad might not be well known, or you can say that the popular names are missing, but still this is a very good side and we are really hopeful with this team,â€ said an optimistic Fahim.
The tournament's seminals are slated for June 28 and June 29 at the Kinrara Oval and the final will take place at the same venue on July 1.
Asif Ahmed Ratul (captain), Noor Hossain Munna (vice-captain), Aslam Hossain, Soumya Sarkar, Al Amin, Touhid Tarik Khan, Mohammad Salman Hossain, Musaddek Hossain Saikat, Abu Hider, Dewan Shabbir Ahmed, Nasum Ahmed, Nayem Islam, Jasim Uddin, Quazi Nurul Hasan and Faizur Rahman.