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Saif to lead Bangladesh in ICC Under-19 World Cup

The core of team that made the semifinals of the Asia Cup Under-19 tournament has been retained.
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Saif Hassan, the right-hand opener, will lead a 15-man Bangladesh squad in the ICC Under-19 World Cup to be held in New Zealand next year, the Bangladesh Cricket Board announced on Wednesday. The 16-team event will be held from January 13 to February 3.

As many as 13 players who featured in the recently concluded Under-19 Asia Cup in Malaysia, where Bangladesh lost to Pakistan in the semifinal, have been named in the line-up that will depart for New Zealand on December 26.

One of the changes is bringing in Tipu Sultan in place of Shakhawat Hossain in a like for like swap of one left-arm spinner with another. Shakhawat is however among the seven standby players.

Saif and Pinak Ghosh were also the part of Bangladesh's squad in the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2016, where they reached the semifinals for the first time. The Bangladesh squad features seven batsmen, two wicket-keepers, four pacers and two spinners.

Damien Wright, the head coach, said that he was satisfied with the 15-man squad selected to do the job for Bangladesh. “I am really confident with the group we have assembled,” he said. “I think we are in a fantastic place (with our batting). So the batting side of things is nowhere near my concern now.”

Bangladesh will open its campaign against Namibia in Lincoln on January 13, with Canada and England the other two teams in the group.

Squad: Saif Hassan (capt), Pinak Ghosh, Mohammad Naim, Afif Hossain, Towhid Hridoy, Aminul Islam, Mohammad Rakib, Mahidul Islam Ankon (wk), Shakil Hossain (wk), Robiul Hoque, Nayeem Hasan, Qazi Anik, Roni Hossen, Hasan Mahmud, Tipu Sultan.

Reserve players: Mohammad Sozib Hossain, Rayan Rafsan Rahman, Shakhawat Hossain, Saidul Islam, Yeasin Arafat, Abdul Halim, Monirul Isam.

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