We are the champions! It is like saying once again “we are the victors” like in 1971. It is an unparallel joy even for those who hardly understand the game of cricket. Whether it is Under – 19 or not, but it is the world champion that matters most.
Welcome home boys and congratulations for making us proud. It has given us a moment to rejoice that we Bengalis look for at every occasion. One of the most happy person is of course Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. We thank her for all the support she has given to the cricketers in every way, including watching them play on TV.
Yes, it is our junior Tigers clinched the ICC World Cup under-19 thrashing powerful India, despite being treated as underdogs initially.
Cricket has set a trend in bringing joy not only to a country, but families and individuals. The stadiums speak of it.
A red-carpet reception was rolled out to the Akbar Ali team with sports-loving Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina never missing a chance to honour those who deserve honour, a rare quality in our country.
It was the Asian Cup victory and I was supposed to take a break the day they were honoured in a public reception by Sheikh Hasina, in her first term in office. How could anybody sit home when the whole nation, forgetting their political itches, join in congratulating a team that has brought honour for Bangladesh in cricket, which grew painstakingly over the decades. I was put following the motorcade carrying the winning team and being showered with flowers.
Our prime minister is the first leader to have taken keen interest for the development of sport and has provided funds to ensure proper skill development as well as equipment. She very recently went to Kolkata for a day to give a boost to senior Tigers fighting India at the Eden Gardens. Thank you, prime minister.
The social media saw a rush of congratulations, but few were worth noting.
The talk of the town was about the senior Tigers and their dismal performance in Pakistan. “The young tigers played for the team to win, not individual glory.” Correct!
“What stern measure can be taken against the senior Tigers? To force them to watch their performance in Pakistan for the rest of their lives” commented Afsan Chowdhury, a sport enthusiast, writer and journalist.
We hope the seniors would learn from the juniors and give up their narrow thoughts of individual glory.
“I hope that it will be a stepping stone for US (Yes, in caps) and it is just the beginning and WE need to keep that momentum and grow hungrier as we go on to play for the senior side. We should have that hunger in US, ”Akbar was quoted as saying. The right thoughts Akbar and it is the word US and WE, and not ME that would take you to greater heights. The team work.
I like the above statement by Akbar indicating the team spirit he upholds which would encourage the other members of the team to play for the team, for the nation --- not individual glory.
Let them reach new heights and we must be alert against pampering and spoiling them. They have to be reminded that if they take the praises into their heads, then they would fall from grace.
Md. Habibur Rahman, an official of the German Awami League, asked in a Facebook status that whether or not the winners be gifted flats and cars? The majority said “NO.” Let the state and the cricket Board remember that public opinion.
* Writer: Nadeem Qadir, Consulting Editor of the Daily Sun and UN Dag Hammarskjold Fellow
BDST: 1233 HRS, FEB 13, 2020