Bangladesh forming under-21 team to stop U19 World Cup winners from losing their way

  • Sports Correspondent,
    Published: 2020-02-13 00:50:18 BdST

Bangladesh Cricket Board is putting together an under-21 team to ensure that the World Cup-winning players of the under-19 team do not lose their way.

The members of Akbar Ali’s team will get Tk 100,000 each monthly in the two years, the board announced in Dhaka on Wednesday after their arrival from South Africa.

The players will be put under extra care during this period, BCB President Nazmul Hassan said at the reception of the players at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

“I’ve told them to focus on the game and not think about financial issues,” he said.

Announcing the move to form the U21 team, he said some members of the U19 team had made it to the national team while many others “got lost”.

“We will work on upgrading their skills,” Nazmul said.

The BCB will renew the deal with the U21 players who will have shown improvement, he said.

Akbar, the captain and hero of the final against India, said they were happy with the board’s decision.    

“We had thanked the board for whatever they are doing for us. We hadn’t left for the World Cup with such expectations,” he said.

He promised to work for implementation of the board’s plan to develop their skills and attitude in the next two years, he added.

Earlier, cheering crowds of fans welcomed them when they arrived at the Shahjalal International Airport. 

The Mirpur stadium, home of Bangladesh’s cricket, was bedecked for the warm reception. They young cricketers joined a dinner hosted by the BCB after a news conference there.

They dethroned defending champions India to claim the title with a three-wicket victory in a tense chase in the final in South Africa’s Potchefstroom on Feb 9.

A group of around 300 motorcyclists accompanied the motorcade of the cricketers from the airport to the stadium.

Fans thronged the stadium as well to greet the champions.

“I had an idea that something big would happen when we return to Bangladesh, but I have never thought it would be something as big as this,” Akbar said.