Bangladesh will begin their ICC Under-19 World Cup campaign today against old adversaries India in a contest that brings back fond memories of four years ago.
The Young Tigers will meet India in a Group A match at the Manguang Oval in Bloemfontein, which begins at 2:00pm Bangladesh time.
Almost four years ago, in Potchefstroom, 324 kilometres from Bloemfontein, the Akbar Ali-led Bangladesh team overcame India in a nail-biting final to win their first global championship at the U-19 level.
Although Bangladesh’s title defence in the 2022 edition in the West Indies was unsuccessful, finishing eighth out of 16 teams while India won their fifth title, the return to South Africa and recent good performances have given the Young Tigers confidence to begin the new campaign with a win.
“We are focused on our next match against India; we want to take it one match at a time in the World Cup,” Bangladesh captain Mahfuzur Rahman Rabby said in a video message Tuesday.
The Rabby-led squad entered in South Africa with a lot of enthusiasm after winning the ACC U-19 Asia Cup championship in Dubai last month, Bangladesh’s first victory in the tournament.
Before defeating the United Arab Emirates by 195 runs in the final to become unbeaten champions, they overcame India by four wickets in the semifinals.
Bangladesh lost some momentum after losing by 112 runs to Sri Lanka in their first warm-up game on January 14, but rebounded with a five-wicket win against Australia in their second and final warm-up game on Wednesday.
Even while Bangladesh’s record against India in Youth ODIs isn’t very impressive, with just five victories in 26 games, the two sides have had some heated confrontations in recent years, with tempers flaring and terrible situations occurring.
Bangladesh captain Rabby, on the other hand, dismissed the animosity between the sides, saying they would play the game as if it were any other.
“We’ll play it like a regular game. We had an excellent preparation for the competition. “We have had great input from our coach,” Rabby told the ICC during the captain’s picture session on Tuesday.
The competition, which was initially scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka but was moved to South Africa when the island country received an ICC suspension, started yesterday with Ireland beating the United States by seven wickets.