The historic win of Bangladesh under-19 team in the final of the ICC Under-19 World Cup has been marred by the ugly scenes of the players of the two teams – India being the other team in the decider – indulging in an unruly scuffle. Now, Shoriful Islam, the pacer in the Bangladesh team has spoken out about the incident.
In an interview, he revealed what went through the minds of his teammates during and after the tense final match which saw them win this trophy for the first time. Shoriful looked back at the past encounter between these two teams and how the conduct of the Indian side on those occasions led them to react the way they did.
"Before taking the field for the final, all I could think about was what they did after winning and how we felt after losing. So, we didn't want things to turn out as they did before. We wanted to do our best and fight with all our strength till the last ball," the youngster stated.
He then recalled those close defeats that caused his team so much heartburn. "Actually, we lost two close matches against them in the past. One was the Asia Cup semi-final (2018) and the other was a final (in 2019). I can't describe what those defeats felt like.
"Firstly, we felt really bad. We lost at our home to them, in Dhaka, by one run. They celebrated wildly in front of us back then and we couldn't say anything. We were waiting for the day we would meet them in a final again. We got the chance. What I wanted was to give it our all. Then they would know what it is like when someone celebrates in front of you like that after you've lost," he added.
The fight that took place after Bangladesh won has led to a lot of criticism. Former India captains Kapil Dev and Mohammad Azharuddin have asked for action to be taken against the errant India players. But interestingly, this is not the first time the under-19 side of the Men in Blue has faced the odium of the public and former cricketers for their actions after a World Cup final.
Way back in 2008, when the Indian under-19 team won the ICC World Cup in this age category, they celebrated wildly with some of the players letting out abuses and swear words. The leading culprit at the time was the captain of that team – a young boy by the name Virat Kohli. The more things change, the more they remain the same.