Returning home after their victory in the ACC U-19 Asia Cup, the Bangladesh boys expressed their eagerness to continue their successful run at the senior level.
While Bangladesh had previously won the ICC U-19 World Cup, this marked their first Asia Cup title.
During their title-winning journey, the Bangladesh U-19 boys secured victories in all their matches, including a big triumph against India in the semifinals. India had been Bangladesh’s opponent when they secured the World Cup title in 2020, UNB reports.
Mahfuzur Rahman Rabby, the captain of the Bangladesh team, conveyed their aspiration to replicate their outstanding performance at the senior level.
“Although we have won the World Cup before, the Asia Cup has remained elusive,” Rabby said. “Now that we have won it, it brings immense joy.”
Members of the Bangladesh U-19 team were warmly received after they reached the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) headquarters on Monday evening. And subsequently, they faced the media there.
Ashiqur Rahman Shibli, the right-handed wicketkeeper-batter, played a pivotal role with two centuries in the event, including one in the final that propelled the team to a formidable total, ultimately proving too challenging for the UAE.
Expressing his delight, Shibli said, “I’m thrilled that the team won based on my performance, but we are a team, and I always strive to play for my team.”
Recognised as the best batter of the event, Shibli said that the main strength of the Bangladesh team lies in playing cohesively as a unit, supporting each other throughout.
In a notable moment, when Shibli completed his century in the final, Ariful Islam, who was at the non-striker’s end, celebrated as if he himself had reached the milestone. Shibli acknowledged Ariful’s support, describing him as a senior figure who guided him through the challenges of the bigger stage.
In addition to being named the man of the final, Shibli was crowned the best batter of the event and the overall best player. “I never aimed to be the best batter; I just wanted to play my best cricket. I will continue striving for the same in the future.”