When T20 cricket first came into the limelight, many thought it was a format of the game that was solely meant for the young players to express themselves.
As the years have passed, experience on many occasions has come to the rescue for various T20 sides.
T20 cricket has never been Bangladesh’s forte as consistent results and performances in this format have been a far-fetched story.
Over the years, team Bangladesh has even suffered losses against associate nations in the World Cup, highlighting the fact perfectly of how much of a struggle this white-ball format has been for the Tigers.
Bangladesh cricket has entered a phase where the senior cricketers are at the twilight of their international careers. Players like Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad and Tamim Iqbal all age around the 35 years old mark.
With not too many years of international cricket left in them, has the time come for the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to show faith in young players as far as T20 cricket is concerned?
Most cricketing nations have gone through a period where the retirement of senior cricketers has left a big void to be filled in the side. Some sides have had adequate backups in place ready to fill up those voids whereas, some sides have suffered badly.
If the BCB is not quick enough to act from now on, chances are high that Bangladesh cricket will fall on the suffering end of the spectrum.
Even though the domestic cricket structure of Bangladesh is not good, the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) has given some exposure to various young talents in the country in competitive cricket alongside international and local stars.
In the last edition of the BPL, players like Munim Shahriar impressed the selectors with his big-hitting prowess, thus earning him his debut for Bangladesh in T20I. His performance in the 2 T20Is against Afghanistan might not have been the most impressive but there is no doubt regarding his talent.
If the team management can identify more upcoming talents from the BPL and nurture them accordingly in due time, they will be a long-time servant of Bangladesh cricket.
Young players often bring the fearless and unpredictability factor to any side more so in T20 cricket. This can often come in handy as the opponents might lack proper knowledge regarding these players. However, experience is something that cannot be brought and most successful T20 sides have a blend of youth and experience.
For Bangladesh to succeed in this format with an eye on the future, young talents should be given a chance in the international arena to rub shoulders against international pros and absorb various nuances of the game from them.
Due to the lack of competitiveness in domestic cricket in Bangladesh, more so in the T20s, these cricketers can often fail once they face the unknown challenges of international cricket.
But if the hard work, talent and eagerness to learn are present, they will prosper with time. More T20 competitions will act as catalysts for these young players to showcase their talents as well.
At the end of the day, the team management has a pivotal role to play to safeguard the future of Bangladesh cricket by incorporating the best talents on the national side, by giving them exposure to the topmost level of cricket.