Lara sees silver lining in Bangladesh clouds

Published: Thursday, September 16, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Southampton:West Indies captain Brian Lara believes Bangladesh are making improvements as a cricketing nation, despite another heavy defeat at the Rose Bowl in the ICC Champions Trophy.

Bangladesh lost to the West Indies by 138 runs just days after another mauling by South Africa in the group stages of the competition. " I saw a banner when we came off the pitch held aloft by their supporters which said 'Bangladesh World Cup winners 2019' and you never can tell," said Lara.

"Bangladesh are a young side and they will learn from playing against sides like ourselves and South Africa. I thought they did well against us in the Tests and One-dayers in the Caribbean and some of the matches were closer than they appeared.

"I told them that they must play as a team and it is important that each of them nips in with a contribution. They need a collective effort but there is not reason why they cannot succeed. "Bangladesh hold a special place in my heart."

Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore took pride in the performances of his teenagers and is convinced they will form the basis of the international team for years to come. Pace bowler Nazmul Hossain, 16, received a special mention but there were others to catch the coach's eye.

"We had three of our Under-19 side over here for this tournament. Each of the batsman showed enough and Nazmul was our best bowler. Two more of the Under-19 side are coming through later this year," said Whatmore.

"Our captain, Rajin Saleh is only 20 and he will have learned how tough it is at this level. I thought in both matches he was terrific with the field and he made good bowling changes."The young players will have gained terrific experience even when getting beaten badly."

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