It’s just the beginning: U-19 captain Akbar Ali

Upon his return after winning the ICC U-19 World Cup, Bangladesh captain Akbar Ali said it is just the beginning of their cricketing career and that they are focusing on their future.

Akbar, who played a match-winning role in the final, said the same after lifting the trophy at Potchefstroom in South Africa on February 9.

We had only one dream and that was to win this World Cup. We'd like to thank the board for helping us to prepare well before the tournament. Our initial target was to play in the final. We've done this and also won the trophy. But I'd say that it's just the beginning. For ultimate success, we've to go a long way, Abkar told the media after a grand reception at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

BCB announced that each member of the world cup winning squad will get Tk 1 lakh per month for the next two years so that they can focus on the game, and upgrade their skillset. BCB also announced to form a new unit as U-21 comprising these cricketers and provide them with the best cricketing facilities.

We didn't play [in the hope of] getting anything from the board. We played for the country. But what board has announced will surely inspire us in future. We're really happy about the supporters who've been supporting us, Akbar said.

He said they were overwhelmed with the warm reception. It was unbelievable, he said.

Akbar said they are looking forward to sharpening their skillset so that the gap between age-level cricket and international cricket reduces in the coming years.

There's a huge difference between age-level cricket and international cricket. Now, our goal is to upgrade our skill and be prepared for the next level of the game. We'll expect the board will help us, Akbar told the media.

Members of U-19 team will go to their villages on Thursday and will back to the capital next week to attend a grand reception by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, which will take place at Suhrawardy Udyan.

Source: United News of Bangladesh