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BCB fumes at U-19 debacle

Staff Correspondent

Bangladesh Under-19 paceman Abu Haider is in his delivery stride against Malaysia Under-19 during the Under-19 Asia Cup match in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. — Internet photo Bangladesh Under-19 paceman Abu Haider is in his delivery stride against Malaysia Under-19 during the Under-19 Asia Cup match in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. — Internet photo

The latest debacle of the Bangladesh Under-19 team in the Junior Asia Cup has caused a stir in the Bangladesh Cricket Board as it gave a wrong impression about the country’s cricketing future.
Bangladesh failed to make the second round after a defeat to Sri Lanka that pushed them behind Afghanistan on net run-rate despite the Junior Tigers having equal number of wins and better head to head record.
The early elimination put a question mark on the performance of Richard McInnes, who is coach-cum-manager of the tour party.
Bangladesh could score just 203-6 in the match against Sri Lanka and lost by two wickets to be eliminated from the first round. 
The BCB insiders said Bangladesh could have progressed irrespective of the outcome of the game if they could score at least 243 runs. The Afghans crushed Malaysia inside four overs taking their net run-rate to a higher level, but Bangladesh still had their fate in their own hands.
The Afghanistan-Malaysia match had ended before Bangladesh completed their 20 overs, meaning they should have known the runs needed to score which would put them ahead of the Afghans. 
A Bangladesh Under-19 player told the BCB officials that McInnes failed to pass up the information at that point of the game that prevented them from making an all-out attempt, eventually ruining their possibility of getting into the semi-finals at Dubai.
‘It was an extremely disappointing performance,’ Khaled Mahmud, chairman of the BCB’s game development committee, told New Age on Wednesday.
‘But the failure of the management was simply an act of irresponsibility,’ Khaled Mahmud said, pointing
a finger at McInnes.
‘We went to Dubai make a mark at the Asia Cup and not just to participate in it. If the team management’s communication failure cost us so dearly then we need to think about them ahead of the Under-19 World Cup,’ said Mahmud.
Bangladesh’s Under-19 side had a year-long activities that began with the home series against Sri Lanka, which they lost by 3-2 margin, arranged  as part of their preparation for the next Junior World Cup at Dubai from February 8.
They followed up the home series with a disappointing England tour and only raised their hope after defeating the West Indies in their own backyard while the last leg of their preparation was hampered when the home series against the West Indies U-19s was called off due to political unrest.
The BCB was also unhappy after McInnes opted to have a vacation immediately after the tour was called off and only joined the side on December 25, just a day before they left for Dubai. 
‘I had to grant him leave because it was overdue,’ said Mahmud.
‘But you can raise a question about his commitment,’ he said.
Even though McInnes had been relatively successful during his previous spell from 2003 to 2005 with the under-19s and the high performance unit, many BCB officials observed that he never looked to be the same coach in his second stint. 
McInnes had replaced compatriot Ross Turner to take over the charge of the BCB-NCA from July 22, 2012 on a two-year contract.

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