Winning the Under-19 World Cup in South Africa is inarguably one of the greatest achievements in the history of Bangladesh Cricket. The youngsters who were instrumental to the success are touted as next big things of Bangladesh Cricket. Some of them started to shine when they were given opportunities to play in the Dhaka Premier League (DPL). But everything came to a standstill due to the outbreak of Covid-19. The cricketers had to stay indoors for almost seven months.
Finally, the wait is over for the youngsters as the High Performance (HP) camp started on Wednesday. 12 of the under-19 World Cup-winning cricketers have been called up. Seven of them are going to play in the three-team one-day competition that is going to be hosted by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).
The tournament will start on October 11. The teams in the competition have an excellent blend of youth and experience and the youngsters who got selected are very thrilled. The Business Standard (TBS) caught up with them to know about their reactions.
I am extremely delighted to get such an opportunity. There will be a lot of national team cricketers. It's going to be a great experience practising, playing and sharing the dressing room with them. Before playing for the national team, such an opportunity certainly gives you an edge over others. I am very excited.
To be honest, I haven't thought much about the tournament. I am yet to be involved in a match after the break. So, I will be able to understand where I am right now in terms of skills after practising a few days.
It will be a great experience to learn from the senior players. I am looking forward to that.
I've been called up to the HP team after finishing age levels. So I've been promoted from a lower position to a higher one. It's all about going ahead step by step and I want to do exactly that.
Parvez Hossain Emon
I am really excited to play alongside the national team cricketers and sharing the dressing room with them. I am trying as much as I can to control my emotions though.
We youngsters surely will be able to learn different things on and off the field from the veteran cricketers.
I have finished the age levels successfully. It is quite satisfying. Getting called up to the HP camp is a new beginning. I have to work hard to sustain this momentum.
It's really exciting. I am really looking forward to playing in this competition if given a chance. Such an opportunity on return to cricket after a long break is extremely thrilling. I will give my hundred per cent if I get to play and gather some precious experience.
I will try to learn from the senior cricketers how to cope up with the pressure in international cricket and deliver the goods.
To finish the age levels with success is definitely satisfying. But I want to move forward step by step and attain my goal through hard work.
I could not work on my skills and fitness much during the shutdown. Finally, there is a chance to play cricket again and that too, with and against the national team cricketers. It's a big opportunity.
I am not thinking much. I've been given an opportunity and I want to grab it with both hands. I will try my best to prepare myself and bring back the mindset needed on a big stage.
We are getting a chance to play with and against veteran cricketers except for Shakib Bhai (Shakib Al Hasan) and Mashrafe Bhai (Mashrafe Mortaza). It's a great chance for us to gather experience which will help us in future.
It would've been difficult to go ahead if I had not been selected for the HP team. A lot of them do not get selected after finishing age levels. So, if I can go ahead step by step, then my base will be strong. I will try my level best to do so.
I am really thrilled and cannot describe my feelings in words. Getting an opportunity to play cricket after so many days is definitely great. And getting to play with the national team cricketers is just icing on the cake.
They have been part of so many historic matches. I really want to know from them how they did so under so much pressure. It's a great opportunity to learn from them.
I think I am right on track. I desire to play for Bangladesh if everything goes according to plan. After HP, I want to get selected for the A team and it will give me a chance to make my way into the national team.
Tanzid Hasan Tamim
After returning from the World Cup, DPL started. It was a big opportunity to prove our mettle. But then came Covid-19, forcing a seven-month hiatus. Now everything is going to start afresh. It's a big challenge.
It's really a good chance for us to learn a lot from the seniors and build our future according to that. We all will try to do that.
I've been an ardent fan of Tamim bhai (Tamim Iqbal) since childhood. It's a great feeling to be in the same team as his. It will be an even better opportunity for me if I get to open the batting with him and perform well.
Everything has come to a halt since the World Cup. A camp was supposed to be held in England. That too got cancelled. Nothing went according to plan. But now we have to start everything anew. We have been promoted from a higher level. So, we'll try wholeheartedly to upgrade our skills.
Every cricketer has the dream to share the dressing room with whom they idolise. I was really surprised to see my name in one of the teams. Because I was injured for a long time and couldn't really practice.
I have started training in the HP camp. But I am yet to gain the rhythm. I've started bowling at a slower pace. It won't be a wise option to play not being a hundred per cent fit. The coaches have said that as well. As a pace bowler, I have to manage myself even if there is a big opportunity ahead.
My fitness is quite good, but the rehabilitation process didn't really take place during the lockdown. Now I want to work hard with a new spirit. But before that, I have to become a hundred per cent fit.