The Bangladesh under-19 cricket team landed in the nation yesterday to great excitement, having won the ACC U-19 Asia Cup and becoming the nation’s first team to do so.
The Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium welcomed the young Tigers home with proper festivities, adorned with lights from the previous day’s Independence Day celebrations.
Bangladeshi sprinter Ebadot Hossain was seen excitedly filming footage from the rooftop of Academy Ground, capturing the moments as the players arrived at the location.
A few children in their age group had earlier been looking forward to their homecoming. One of the children was heard telling Ashiqur Rahman Shibli, the final centurion, that the Asia Cup victory would not be sufficient after being granted permission to see the players. “Bhaiya, we need the World Cup.” he exclaimed.
Captain Mahfuzur Rahman Rabby addressed the media during the news conference, which was attended by BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury.
When asked how it feels, Rabby responded that the victory marked the pinnacle of duty. At yesterday’s news conference, he remarked, “It’s a big achievement for us because we became Asia Cup champions for the first time.”
The coaching staff, especially Wasim Jaffar, the batting coach, and head coach Stuart Law, received high marks from Rabby. “We have Stuart Law sir and Wasim Jaffar sir and we got very good tips from them, especially in regards to how to come back from difficult situations and stay strong mentally,” added the captain.
When asked how they accomplished their goal, Rabby replied that they didn’t concentrate on the end result, but rather took each game as it came.
Shibli, who scored a huge run in the championship game to lead the U-19s to victory, acknowledged that teamwork was the secret to their success.
“If there is no bonding, we will not become champions or win via individual performance. Our camaraderie as a team made us champions,” Shibli remarked.
Before the Asia Cup, the team was not performing all that well. They had, however, been well-prepared for a quadrangular series in November between the India A and B teams and the England U19s in India, where they won just one game out of six.
“There was fierce competition in the Indian tournament. We performed well in the Asia Cup because we made improvements after that, according to Rabby.
Their current main goal is still the U-19 World Cup in January. While winning an Asia Cup can boost confidence, it may not turn them into great players, but it can be a springboard for great things to come.
“We have the World Cup coming up, and this achievement has made us more responsible. We learned a lot from the Asia Cup to prepare for the World Cup.
“Everyone’s in good touch and if we can keep being consistent, we would be able to achieve something good from the World Cup,” Rabby stated.
The group has demonstrated intelligence and strength in scenario reading. They will arrive in Dhaka for the World Cup training camp before leaving on January 1 for South Africa.
The BCB game development manager, Abu Emam Mohammad Kawsar, stated, “We will have a week-long camp in South Africa before the Under-19 World Cup, to give our boys time to adjust with conditions.”
The teenagers may now take a leap of faith in their talents in the challenging African conditions that await them after winning their maiden Asia Cup with excellent team bonding. A World Cup will be big in terms of handling the pressure settings.