After a successful 2020 Under-19 World Cup campaign, the future stars didn't have much to do as Covid-19 broke out soon after. After staying indoors for almost eight months, cricketers have returned through the BCB President's Cup, a three-team one-day competition. Some of the members of the World Cup-winning team have been included in the teams participating in the tournament. Shoriful Islam, the left-arm fast bowler who impressed one and all in the World Cup, has said that the next match is extremely significant for them in order to qualify for the final.
13 of the under-19 cricketers have been called up to the High Performance (HP) camp. Eight of them have got opportunities to play in the President's Cup. One of them is Shoriful, who is playing for the Tamim XI.
Ahead of Tamim XI's next encounter against Mahmudullah XI, Shoriful said, "The next match is very significant, maybe more than the final. If we win, then we can qualify for the final. So we are taking the match to be the final."
The left-arm seamer went wicketless in the first innings but lit up the stage in the second match where he picked up four wickets, conceding only 37 runs. He seems to have regained the rhythm after such a long break. The youngster is also learning from the senior players.
Shoriful said, "Tamim Bhai (Tamim Iqbal) speaks to me a lot, during bowling in the match or at the nets. I ask Mustafiz Bhai (Mustafizur Rahman) a lot of questions too. He teaches me things beautifully."
"I ask questions to Saifuddin Bhai (Mohammad Saifuddin) as well and want to know about the weaknesses of the batsmen from him. All of them share their knowledge gladly," he added.
Initially, it was tough for the youngster, coming back into competitive cricket after a long time. "I played only one Premier League match after the World Cup. Then Covid-19 happened and there was no cricket. In the first match of the President's Cup, game fitness and game sense didn't really click. Then I did better in the second game. I am delighted to return to cricket," mentioned the youngster.
The cricketers are staying at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon under the biosecure bubble. Obviously, Shoriful is not acquainted with everyone, which makes him feel slightly different. "It's a different feeling under the bubble. We didn't stay indoors while playing before. We used to go out, spend time with teammates, but nothing of this sort is possible now."
A win for Tamim XI over Mahmudullah XI will mean that their place in the final will almost be a certainty.