Embracing process over outcome – Stuart’s ‘Law’ for Bangladesh U19 success

What's gone on at past U19 events is of no concern to Bangladesh coach Stuart Law.

By Garima Srivastava in Bloemfontein

It wasn’t long ago when Bangladesh were crowned the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup champions in 2020, having beaten India in a famous Final by three wickets on DLS method in South Africa at Potchefstroom.

Fast forward to 2024, Bangladesh are once again chasing a title-winning victory in South Africa, with emphasis on the process over the outcome of the past.

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Bangladesh U19 head coach and former Australia international, Stuart Law, revealed the team’s approach: follow a process-driven mindset, work on improving each day, and maintain focus on the present to progress ahead.

"What happened back in 2020, it’s four years ago. If you’re still looking backwards, it’s very hard to go forwards,” Law said in an exclusive interview with ICC Digital.

“You know, we use the men who are trying to get better each day. And if we’re trying to get better each day and we do get better each day, we’ll become a very good cricket team.

“The way we’ve worked in the last six months has been process-driven, not outcome. And if we get our processes right, the outcome looks after itself. So we’ll be getting better each day, trying to get better each day and focusing on process,” he added.

Law reflected on Bangladesh’s group stage performances, in which they finished second behind table-toppers India, with two wins in three games.

They tasted defeat in their opening clash against India by 84 runs. However, they bounced back with crucial wins against Ireland and USA with a six-wicket and 121-run triumph respectively.

**"**We’ve had some good days, we’ve had some slack days but on a overall, losing to India is not shameful," Law said.

"And we completed the games that we needed to against the USA and Ireland. So overall, we could have been better but still pretty pleased to get through the Super Sixes.”

Discussing individual performances, Law acknowledged that their success thus far has been a result of collective team effort.

However, fast bowler Maruf Mridha, who returned 5-43 from eight productive overs against India, and middle-order batter Ariful Islam, who made 103 against USA, stand out as noteworthy performers during the group stage.

Ariful Islam POTM Highlights | U19 CWC 2024

u19WC2024_Match 17_USAvBAN_Ariful_Batting + 100_POTMHL_16x9.mp4 (2024-01-26 16:14:17Z)

“We’ve had really good team performances along the way. In certain games, our fast bowlers have bowled well. Maruf has taken a five-for in the first game against India. Ariful Islam scored a hundred against USA. And we’ve had some solid contributions from other players as well, but they’re the ones that have got the accolades of the fifers and the hundreds," Law noted.

“It would have been nice to have a few more because the conditions we’ve been playing in have been really good for cricket. So hopefully there’s a few more really big performances to come."

As the team prepares for the upcoming Super Six challenge, Law wants his batters to step up and realise how big a role the U19 World Cup plays in shaping their future in international cricket.

Bangladesh v Ireland | Match Highlights | U19 CWC 2024

Bangladesh defeated Ireland by six wickets in Bloemfontein.

“There hasn’t been just one person scoring the runs. There have been guys at the top of the order who have started OK but not really gone on to get the big runs that they can. It’s just a matter of our boys understanding that this might be the only chance they get, to play cricket for their country, to go out and if they get a start, an opportunity, don’t let it slip through the fingers," he added.

“There are some good players in our squad, some players that will feature at the higher level in the coming months and years. If they finish strong now, it could be all the way to the top. So, plenty to play for.”

Law is enjoying his coaching role with the Bangladesh U19s, but there is one aspect of this job that he enjoys the most.

Shihab James POTM Highlights | U19 CWC 2024

Shihab James hit a match-winning 55* against Ireland in Kimberley

“Coaching brings different rewards,” he said. “At this level, it’s great helping a young man, who asks a lot of questions, give them some solutions and then see them put the solution into practice out in the middle and have success. That gives me the greatest joy.

“When you see someone who you’ve worked with, come up with a plan to hopefully make them better and they go out and they put it in place and they have success, that gives you a warm fuzzy feeling inside.”

Bangladesh, who finished second in Group A, will face Nepal (D3) and Pakistan (D1) from Group D in the Super Six stage.

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