Bangladesh U-19 head coach Stuart Law had a previous stint with the men's national team back in 2011-12 where they had a memorable campaign in the Asia Cup by reaching the final for the first time.
Back then, his job was the get the best out of the likes of Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and co.
But his work is now a bit different with the U19 team as he looks to prepare the next generation of cricketers and get them ready for the national team.
After Bangladesh U-19 won a closely fought five-match Youth ODI series against a gun South Africa U-19 team, Law spoke with The Business Standard in an exclusive interview talking about the team's chances in the upcoming World Cup and what brought him back.
Congrats on the series win. How do you rate this performance?
Coming back from two one down and then winning the series is cool. It's a different program to be involved in because whilst we're highlighting the development, of young players to proceed through the ranks to play for the national team you also want to win a few as well. And, you know, winning creates a very good culture. Yeah, we're still making a few basic mistakes, but very pleased. The way we fought hard came back after being cornered.
What have you been most pleased with as the series progressed?
It's a tough one to talk about individuals because the term 'we' applies in this sport. If the team didn't play well as a unit, we wouldn't win this series. One reason we won is their effort in the fielding and that has been exceptional.
I still think the batters are selling themselves a bit short. The 50s and 60s aren't going to win too many games for us. The bowling has been steadier though. Spin is a, you know, very very good. You know, (Md Rafiuzzaman) Rafi had a great series and (Mahfuzur Rahman) Rabby had a good series with both bat and ball.
Speaking about batters, Ariful Islam has done well with the bat. We've seen, Shihab James do well in the past too. Who do you think among the batters can take the step to the next level? Why do you think they haven't managed to score big?
It's difficult. International cricket is a tough place right now. If you're not scoring runs at this level and being not out, chasing down 200-plus... Probably no one's ready for the next level just at this moment. The talent is definitely there. It's got to be a combination of good talent, good execution, and mentality. So that's what we're looking for.
What brought you back to Bangladesh? You've been with the national team before but why the U-19 team?
I just love helping out the young men. You know, I've been here before and helped the young guys out. And to see some of those players progress into the national team. So that's a real kick and I just love it. There's so much talent in this country and to come here and hopefully enhance some of that. It was a good opportunity for me to come back and do so.
What do you think are the differences between Bangladesh and Australia, cricket infrastructure-wise and where can it improve?
It's a difficult one as well because the funding from the ICC is completely lopsided.
In Bangladesh, the way they structured it, they make sure that their national teams, have everything they possibly can to improve. You can't compare with Australia, India and England. They've got so much money. It's it's unfair really. Bangladesh do extremely well for the money that they receive and they're producing some high-quality international cricketers, beating the big teams in one-day cricket.
Bangladesh are moving in the right direction, that's for sure.
What do you think fans can expect from this team moving forward and how do you think they will do in the U-19 World Cup?
I'd say be patient. There's some talent here. To walk into a tournament thinking that you're going to win it is a bit arrogant, and probably a bit naive. There are a lot of teams that want to do it.
If we go there and we keep moving forward in the right way and doing the right things. Good results are coming our way.