Dhaka, Feb 13 (IANS) The Akbar Ali-led Bangladesh Under-19 team was accorded with a heroes welcome in Mirpur following their historic World Cup win in South Africa.
Bangladesh Under-19 scaled the summit by beating India Under-19 in a pulsating final played in Potchefstroom last Sunday.
The Bangladesh team arrived in Mirpur on Wednesday at 5 p.m. local time with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) hosting a huge reception at the airport. BCB president Nazmul Hassan along with other board officials and government officials received the set of players at the airport.
They, then headed towards the Shere-e-Bangla National Stadium where Akbar and Nazmul addressed a press conference.
On their way to the stadium, Akbar and his teammates watched thousands line up on one side of the highway as a slew of fans on bikes waved national flags and followed the team.
In addition to hundreds of bikes, there were pick-up trucks with several people, holding posters and banners, and cheering the World Cup winners.
When the players reached the National Stadium’s gate at around 6.30 p.m., a larger crowd was waiting for them. Chants of “Bangladesh! Bangladesh! Bangladesh!” reverberated through the area.
Akbar also cut a cake and the celebrations ended with fireworks bursting in air.
During the presser, the BCB president also announced that the victorious Under-19 cricketers will be enrolled into a new Under-21 unit of the board to sharpen their skills and prepare them for international cricket.
Each player will be paid BDT 100,000 (approximately $ 1,250) per month during the two years of this training.
After the press conference, Akbar headed to Rangpur where his sister had passed away last week. It is also said that the players are also expected to have a grand reception at the Sohrawardy Uddayan next week, with the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina hosting the players.