Bangalore, Jul 28: Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has said that playing in the ICC Under-19 World Cup helped him "grow up as a cricketer."
With the 2012 edition of Under-19 World Cup set to start in Australia on August 11, Shakib reflected his days at the Under-19 World Cup.
Shakib, a former Bangladesh captain and currently the number-one ranked ODI all-rounder, played alongside West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in Sri Lanka in 2006.
"We did very well at that tournament. We had very good wins against New Zealand (by three wickets), Uganda (by 171 runs), West Indies, Sri Lanka (by 98 runs in fifth/sixth position play-off) and eventual winners Pakistan (by four wickets)," Shakib was quoted as saying in a media release issued by ICC on Saturday.
He continued: "But we had bad memories as well because we lost against England (by five wickets in the quarter-final). Before that tournament, England came to Bangladesh to play seven or eight one-day matches against us and we won all the matches. So, we couldn't even believe that we lost that quarter-final."
"That was a bad memory for us. But in the end, we did very well as a team. We were the first team from Bangladesh to play the main group matches and ended as the fifth best side in that tournament."
Shakib had a decent event by his very high standards when he scored 150 runs at an average of 25 and claimed seven wickets at nearly 21 runs per wicket with an economy rate of 3.32.
"The event definitely helped me a lot to grow up as a cricketer," said Shakib, adding that there was tremendous interest in Bangladesh as the matches were being televised live. "All the matches were being televised live in Bangladesh. While that put a little bit of extra pressure on the boys, it also helped us to perform better because we knew that millions of people were watching and praying for our success.
Shakib was confident that at least a couple of cricketers from the Bangladesh U19 side will be part of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. "Well, I am confident that there will be two or three players from this tournament who will be representing Bangladesh at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
"I think it will be very good opportunity for these youngsters to play there and earn the valuable experience that can help them perform improve their skills which, in turn, will allow them to enhance their performances.
"I think all the boys should take this tournament very seriously because most of them will be playing at the highest level in the next couple of years."