Stuart Law is not an unknown name in Bangladesh cricket. The former Australian cricketer was the head coach of Bangladesh four years ago for a duration of around nine months. But during this short time, he left his mark by guiding his charges to the 2012 Asia Cup final where they lost narrowly to Pakistan by just two runs. Before that though, the Tigers beat sub-continent powerhouses India and Sri Lanka.
Law was also the Bangladesh U-19 technical advisor and under his stewardship, the junior Tigers romped to the last four before losing to the West Indies.
The 48-year old is currently in Bangladesh for the upcoming Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 where he will perform his duty as the head coach of the Khulna Titans. Dhaka Tribune
caught up with the former right-handed batsman for an exclusive interview where he shared his thoughts on the current situation of the Bangladesh team, youngster Mehedi Hasan Miraz, BPL 4 and the Titans, among other topics. Here is the first segment of the two-part interview:
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Bangladesh's Mahmudullah talks with former head coach Law COURTESY
The fourth edition of the BPL T20 is knocking at the door. What is your impression regarding Bangladesh's premier T20 competition?
I think it’s a tournament now which has gained a lot of respect and still gaining respect from the other parts of the world. Foreign players have come here and performed well in BPL. It opens the eyes of people involved in world cricket, particularly IPL (Indian Premier League), Big Bash and Caribbean Premier League. It's having a place in the international scene now. As long as it continues with great integrity and professionalism I think it will survive and promote very good youngsters for the Bangladesh national team.
What is your take on the competitiveness of the BPL?
The competitiveness is way up there. The only difficult aspect for players is that they have to play in two different venues, and the pitches towards the end of the tournament will become difficult to play aggressive cricket as they will be slower and will spin. But the competitiveness is great.
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Law talks with a young Shakib al Hasan COURTESY
Have you followed Bangladesh after your departure as the national head coach? What are your thoughts on the current Bangladesh team?
Yes, I followed them. The team culture has really improved. Lot of hard work is going on. I had dinner with Mahmudullah Riyad the other night and he lost 10kgs with sheer hard work and that was probably what was needed all those years ago. I think they have achieved outstanding results in the last 16-18 months. The  World Cup in Australia was fantastic. They played brilliant cricket. And that’s what I expect. There is so much talent in this country. Cricket is not an easy game. If you work hard you will get success. So the harder you work the easier it thus becomes.
Are you following the ongoing Bangladesh-England Test series?
Bangladesh were in a very strong position. But the batting collapse is disappointing. It can happen in cricket. England are a very a good side. You can see it in all levels of cricket. You see a massive partnership and then couple of wickets fall and all of a sudden, all gone. That is disappointing for Bangladesh but England are 50/3 at stumps on day one. So it is evenly poised at the moment.
You had worked as the technical advisor of the Bangladesh U-19 side. From that team, Miraz made his international bow recently in Tests. How do you rate his performance?
What a great experience for a young man like Miraz. He got five on debut, opened the bowling for your country. That’s a big responsibility for a young man. What I saw while working with him and the U-19 team is that he can handle responsibility. He has got an old head on young shoulders. He is definitely good enough to play Test cricket. I expect to bat him in the top six in years to come and be a good contributor with the bat as well as with the ball. He is brilliant on the field. He is a great young man to have around, full of energy. He finally got the opportunity and is doing well as anyone else in the team at the moment. So he can hold his head very high.
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Law addresses a press conference COURTESY
ODI, Test and T20. Which is the most difficult format?
It's Test cricket. It's called Test cricket for a reason. It does test you. For me it’s the pinnacle, it’s the number one among the three formats. It’s a real test of character. You need fitness, abilities, skills and desire. One-day cricket, sadly, people are saying it’s dying but the last World Cup has produced some of the best cricket matches I have witnessed. T20 for me it’s an entertainer's delight. It’s great for the introduction of people who don’t really support it. It's over between three and a half hours, and in these three hours it's action packed, you get your money worth. So all three formats can survive. I don’t believe T20 cricket should be in international format. But that’s just my personal opinion. I think it is fit for franchise-based tournaments around the world. For example in IPL, they put a lot of money into it. The entertainment money is unbelievably high. It’s been a very successful tournament worldwide. So IPL is here to stay, as long as they keep producing quality entertaining cricket.