Bangladesh played an attractive brand of cricket to qualify for the semi-finals for the first time ever in the previous edition of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup. They got the home crowd involved and made the tournament a massive success. The emergence of Mehedi Hasan, the captain and player of the tournament, was the team’s biggest takeaway.
This time, batsman Pinak Ghosh and captain Mohammad Saif Hassan, who were members of the team in 2016, will be expected to shoulder the responsibility in a team coached by Australia’s. Damien Wright. Recently, Bangladesh beat India in the league stages of the Asia Cup but lost to Pakistan by two runs in a rain-affected semi-final.
Ghosh slammed half-centuries in both outings and was the second-highest run-getter of the tournament with a tally of 199 in four matches. Before that, Bangladesh had played a five-match bilateral series against Afghanistan at home, which they lost 1-2. Chasing 134 in the series decider, Bangladesh were bowled out for 88.
England’s preparations for the U19 CWC got underway with a tour of India before they played the same opposition at home. The team then traveled to South Africa for a triangular series also involving Namibia. In the final, England lost to South Africa by three wickets with two balls remaining in a day-night encounter.
England, champions in 1998 and one of the high-performing sides in the previous U19 CWC, will be led by Harry Brook. Jon Lewis, who represented the England senior team on 16 occasions including in one Test, is the coach, former batsman Jonathan Trott is the batting coach while Neil Killeen is the fast bowling coach.
Namibia were one of the most inspiring stories from the 2016 U19 CWC. They won against Scotland and South Africa to qualify for the quarter-finals, where they lost to England. They then beat Nepal in the seventh-place playoff to earn an automatic qualification for the next edition as the highest placed Associate.
This article first appeared on ICC-Cricket.com, reproduced with permission