Having had locked horns four times at the world cup tournament with South Africa and coming out victorious, Bangladesh is unaware of what they are about to meet in the tournament opener as they are going to have it out with the South African team for the ICC under 19 world cup today Wednesday, January 27th by 0900 (Bangladesh time).
South Africa has been the defending Under-19 champion, a crown it won in 2014 in the United Arab Emirates. So, when the two sides get ready to play in the opening encounter of the 2016 Under-19 World Cup in Chittagong, the three-time finalists can be expected to have a little more muscle. But what seems to be a little disturbing is if the trust we have will be enough to get Bangladesh out-of-the-way before it line-up against Scotland and Namibia in Group A.
However, the coach to the ICC under 19 national team Lawrence Mahatlane has assured the country of total victory as he has confidence on the competency of his team.
“It has been a very exciting process,” he had said in the lead up to the World Cup. “We have a lot of players that we have tried out and given a lot of international exposure to. I think the fact that majority of the team has been to Bangladesh already can only serve us in good stead. It’s been tough at times, there are a few young men who will be very disappointed that they will not be going to the World Cup, but I believe that we have picked a really good side.” he said.
What seems to create little fear about the tournament lies in the fact that while the South African team have undergone some kind of reshuffling so as to give room for new talents to come through, Bangladesh has retained five of its players from the 2014 squad and that could spell trouble for South Africa, who do not possess as much experience in their ranks.
Looking at the event format, the top two sides from each of the four groups will move up to the Super League Stage and the bottom two will feature in the Plate Championship
More so, having Scotland and Namibia the other sides in Group A, Bangladesh’s victory over South Africa can be a good footage for them to top the group at the ICC under 19 which might also make it possible for the team to avoid a potential quarterfinal clash against a power-packed India.
Speaking in confidence, skipper for the Bangladesh team Mehedi Hassan Miraz said if they play their potentials, they are sure of winning the SA team.
“South Africa is the defending champion but we have dominated them since their World Cup triumph,”
“If we play to our potential, then we know we can beat them. South Africa is first up and it is crucial that we make a positive start because then we will have a very good chance of topping the group as we are stronger than both Scotland and Namibia. If we win the group, the pressure will ease a lot.”
Meanwhile, in line with its commitment to enhance the profile of the ICC under 19 Cricket World Cup, the ICC has put in place a breathtaking schedule which includes live broadcast coverage of all four matches at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium (ZACS) in Chittagong, seven matches from Fatullah (including two Super League quarter-finals and five Super League play-offs) and nine matches at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium (SBNS) in Mirpur, including four first-round matches, two quarter-finals, both the semi-finals and the 14 February.
ICC Under 19 – Team Players
South Africa: Tony de Zorzi (capt), Ziyaad Abrahams, Dean Foxcroft, Dayyaan Galiem, Willie Ludick, Wandile Makwethu, Conner McKerr, Rivaldo Moonsamy, Wiaan Mulder, Luke Philander, Farhaan Sayanvala, Lutho Sipamla, Liam Smith, Kyle Verreynne, Sean Whitehead.
Bangladesh: Mehedi Hassan Miraz (capt), Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Joyraj Sheik, Pinak Ghosh, Saif Hassan, Zakir Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Shafiul Hayat, Saeed Sarkar, Mehedi Hasan Rana, Abdul Halim, Sanjit Saha, Saleh Ahmed Shawon, Ariful Islam, Jaker Ali.