Bangladesh had reached the semifinals of the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup earlier, but this time they have clinched the title in a historic win in South Africa.
Though it may seem just a matter of only two games that includes a semifinal and a final, the intense pressure of the concluding matches was there. The win is more significant as Bangladesh beat India. India had won the World Cup four times before and it was their third final at a stretch. The pressure of the final match was not new to them, but it was new for Bangladesh.
We congratulate Akbar Ali and his world champion team for bringing such a glory for the country. Their feat requires more than just greetings. Akbar, Shariful, and Mahmudul had done their job and it is time for us to pave the way for their future smooth.
Each time there is any success in our sports sector, we realise that we should do many things. We feel that new initiatives and programmes are required for the betterment of the players and the sports sector. The issue of playground and modern equipment also come to the fore at such moments, but are they actually implemented at the end?
The successes and achievements are remembered, but the realisation and promises fade away with time. We award the players and the awards are necessary to keep their spirit up too, but what actually should we do for this U-19 team? Our main target should be the improvement of their performance and to enable each of them to keep up their performance to win the World Cup Finals later. Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) should take effective measures keeping that in mind. Fair sports environment should be ensured for the future of Akbars and Sharifuls.
Fair environment is a prerequisite for nurturing a good cricketer. There should be open field and fresh air. Where will the fresher ones get the fair environment when the local cricket is subjected to muscle power, match fixing and biased umpiring for last several years? It is natural for them to lose their interest in sports as they are facing such undesirable experiences from the very onset. The path for the rise of the cricketers is also way hard nowadays.
A number of 500-700 young cricketers would get the opportunity to play in the third division selection tournament once held in Dhaka. Also, a number of 300-400 promising players could play in the Academy Cup. None of these tournaments are being held now. No clubs participate in the third division selection tournament anymore as the entry fee, at once, was raised from Tk 5,000 to Tk 500,000. The scope is being misused by the teams that are owned by the board officials in the tournament. These teams are being fixed as champions and runners-up by lottery. The promising young cricketers are being deprived of the opportunity to prove themselves in competitive games.
We will celebrate the achievements of Akbars, but we must vow to ensure fair environment for the blossoming of future players.