Hasibul Hossain Shanto running towards his teammates after scoring the winning runs in the ICC Trophy final against Kenya back in 1997 has become somewhat of a trademark celebration in Bangladesh cricket’s history.
Those who witnessed that rare triumph more than twenty years ago still vividly remember the wild celebrations that broke out on the streets of Dhaka, with many celebrating by smearing each other with coloured powder.
The Bangladesh Under-19 team’s victory over India in Potchefstroom on Sunday to claim the title of the ICC Under-19 World Cup is arguably the biggest incident in Bangladesh cricket since that ICC Trophy win in 1997.
And why not? It was the first time in the history of country’s sport that Bangladesh become the World Champions.
It was a familiar sense of deja vu as Hasibul was once again seen running towards his team moments after Rakibul Hasan hit the winning shot to spark wild celebrations. Hasibul, now an age-level selector for the the Bangladesh Cricket Board, literally re-lived those moments from 1997 in South Africa.
The former national pacer has been a part of the young Tigers’ set-up from the beginning, when the game development committee led by Khaled Mahmud proposed an overhaul at the Under-19 level. That overhaul followed the defeat against India in the quarterfinals of the previous edition of the ICC Under-19 World Cup in 2018.
Hasibul said that the pride he felt while celebrating both the feats were identical, but becoming a world champion would have a special place in his heart.
“I was a player when I celebrated the 1997 ICC Trophy win, but the joy after Bangladesh clinched the Word Cup on Sunday is something different. I have been part of the entire process and witnessed the ups and downs from this young group who wanted to achieve something big. It gives me huge satisfaction. As a selector, I can only say that it was totally a team effort and every single person involved in the process deserves appreciation,” Hasibul, who is still with the Under-19 team in South Africa, told The Daily Star over phone yesterday.
The 42-year-old also believed that -- much like the ICC Trophy triumph helped Bangladesh cricket take the next step in international cricket -- the Under-19 World Cup win would work as fuel for the nation’s cricketing dreams.
“This is just the beginning. Fortunately, I witnessed both sides of the coin in my career, first as a player and now as an age-level selector. I think this win was really needed in order for us to take the next step, like we did after the ICC Trophy win in 1997. We became the newest Test-playing nation a couple of years after that win. Belief is very important and such triumphs give you that push to go a step further. I hope this World Cup win will work exactly the same for us,” he concluded.