Ali also led Bangladesh U19s in their recent home assignment against Sri Lanka: They claimed the five-match youth one-day international series 4-0, after the first game was abandoned without a ball bowled. The 18-year-old notched up two half-centuries in the series, and also claimed five catches behind the wicket in the third match.
He was also in good nick in Bangladesh's tour of New Zealand in October, registering two 60-plus scores in five games. Bangladesh won the youth ODI series 4-1, as Ali finished with an average of 72.50.
Everything there is to know about the upcoming Under 19 Cricket World Cup 👀 pic.twitter.com/Hb9GTQrMdd— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) December 19, 2019
Tawhid Hridoy, who has scores of 82*, 123*, 115, and 111 in his last four appearances for Bangladesh U19s, has been named as Ali's deputy. The right-hander was their leading run-scorer against Sri Lanka, accumulating 431 runs at a mammoth average of 215.50. Opener Tanzid Hasan, who top-scored against New Zealand with 280 runs across five games, has also retained his spot in the side.
Left-arm seamer Shoriful Islam has been drafted into the pace contingent. The 18-year-old has 35 YODI scalps to his name since January 2018 – the most for any Bangladesh bowler in the period. Right-arm pacer Tanzim Hasan Sakib, who leads their wicket-taking charts in 2019, has also been included. The 17-year-old returned six wickets across three games against Sri Lanka.
Right-arm off-spinner Shamim Hossain and left-arm orthodox bowler Rakibul Hasan have also been drafted into the squad. They are Bangladesh U19's second and third most prolific wicket-takers this year.
The Bangladesh U19 side will go into the 2020 World Cup with confidence, having won their last three bilateral series. They also reached the final of the U19 Asia Cup earlier this year, where they narrowly missed out against India by five runs.
Bangladesh's best returns at the U19 Cricket World Cup came in 2016, when they reached the semi-final in home conditions. They won the plate competition twice, overcoming West Indies and Australia in 1998 and 2004.
Bangladesh are in Group C of the 2020 U19 Cricket World Cup, along with Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Scotland. They will begin their campaign against Zimbabwe on 18 January in Potchefstroom.
Bangladesh squad: Akbar Ali (c), Tawhid Hridoy, Tanzid Hasan, Parvez Hossain Emon, Prantik Nawrose Nabil, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Shahadat Hossain, Shamim Hossain, Mohammad Mirttunjoy Chowdhury Nipun, Tanzim Hasan Sakib, Avishek Das, Shoriful Islam, Mohammad Shahin Alom, Rakibul Hasan, Hasan Morad