Update: 10 February, 2020 13:49 PM
We had a dream to lift the trophy; our dream came true: Akbar Ali

We had a dream to lift the trophy; our dream came true: Akbar Ali

In a country where success is not very common, every achievement is celebrated with huge pomp and glory. And when it is the occasion of clinching their maiden trophy in an ICC event, that celebration was boundless. Bangladesh's senior team is currently playing a Test against Pakistan in Rawalpindi but the focus was all on the young side in South Africa, who had sealed their spot in the final against India.

People gathered in numbers around different parts of the country to witness the final together, backing their youngsters like they had done in the past mostly for the senior cricket team, who had given them hope, but hardly ever managed to give them the ultimate satisfaction of crossing the line and the last hurdle despite coming close on a number of occasions. However, it was different with the juniors, who managed to hold their nerves to clinch the ICC Under-19 World Cup trophy with a three-wicket win over India in the rain-interrupted final at Potchefstroom, etching their name in history books.

The celebration began immediately after left-arm spinner Rakibul Hasan's flick fetched them the winning run. The fans who gathered at the stadium to back the boys in green and red were an extension to the party that gripped the country within minutes after the historical win. "The way they (fans) supported Bangladesh cricket team, I think they deserve one title. We are happy to deliver that," Akbar Ali, the Under-19 skipper, said after his match-winning effort against India at Senwes Park. "And they deserve it because of their passion for this sport so I would expect the support in future too,'' he said adding that the support they received despite coming far from their country was phenomenal. We were expecting equal supporters. The crowd was our 12th man."

Akbar added that he felt this was beginning of a new journey for them and added that he expected the same kind of hunger when they joined the senior side. "I hope that it will be stepping stone for our future cricket and it's just a beginning and need to keep that momentum and hungrier for the senior side. When we will go to the senior side we should have that hunger in us," he said.

Akbar himself batted with enough patience to make sure they didn't crumble under pressure with his unbeaten 43, saying that they did not want to complicate things despite being pushed by the Indians in the middle when they were struggling at one point at 63 for 3. "No, we wanted to keep things simple. I mean, Tamim and Emon gave us a very good start and then Ravi came to the party and he bowled exceptionally well. So I have to give the credit to him. We knew it was going to be a tough chase because India is a very challenging side. And I think, when I entered into the crease, we knew we needed a big partnership. Emon supported me very well," he said adding that Emon showed character by returning back to bat despite all the physical discomfort.

"I would say he showed his character. He was not at his ... even at his 30%, so he batted for the team. I would say when he was in the dressing room, we lost two new batsmen more, and Indians were getting over us, and when he came back we already lost six wickets, and then the way he batted after that, I am very proud of him."

Akbar also said that he was happy he could seize the opportunity in the middle. "Initially I did not get much chance in the first half of the tournament, against Pakistan I did not get much runs, in quarterfinals when I was not out there. I was waiting for the chance and in the final, it came. And the plan was there. The plan was not to lose my wicket and be the finisher in this match. When we started our journey we had a dream to lift the trophy. So it's like a dream coming true. I don't know what should I say, I cannot describe my feelings," he said.

While the win per se was a fabulous one for Bangladesh, the scenes following the victory run left a sour taste with the two teams getting into a squabble, engaging in physical altercations. Akbar apologised on behalf of his teammates for the same, for the ugly end to an otherwise fantastic tournament. "What happened, it should not have happened. I don't know what exactly happened. I did not ask what was going on. But in the final emotions can come out. And sometimes, the boys were getting pumped. As a youngster, I would say, it should not have happened. In any position, in any manner, we should show respect to our opponents and we have respect for the game as we know cricket is known as the gentlemen's game. I am sorry on behalf of my team," he said.

"I would say India-Bangladesh rivalry brings the extra spark. Before the World Cup, we lost Asia Cup final couple of months ago. I think the boys were really pumped up, so they were taking revenge. I will not say it should happen, I am sorry from my side."


Source: Cricbuzz

সম্পাদক : ইমদাদুল হক মিলন,
নির্বাহী সম্পাদক : মোস্তফা কামাল,
ইস্ট ওয়েস্ট মিডিয়া গ্রুপ লিমিটেডের পক্ষে ময়নাল হোসেন চৌধুরী কর্তৃক প্লট-৩৭১/এ, ব্লক-ডি, বসুন্ধরা, বারিধারা থেকে প্রকাশিত এবং প্লট-সি/৫২, ব্লক-কে, বসুন্ধরা, খিলক্ষেত, বাড্ডা, ঢাকা-১২২৯ থেকে মুদ্রিত।
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