The topic of discussion nationwide yesterday was the Bangladesh Under-19s' triumph in the ICC Under-19 World Cup. Starting from cabinet meetings to press briefings at the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) headquarters in Mirpur, it was the Akbar Ali-led side's emergence as world champions by beating India by three wickets in the final that was the hot topic of discussion.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina described clinching the country's first World Cup trophy as a gift to the nation on Mujib Borsho (Mujib Year).
"Winning the ICC Under-19 World Cup trophy by the Bangladesh Under-19 Cricket Team is a gift for the nation in the Mujib Borsho," Hasina was quoted as saying by BSS during a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) yesterday morning.
The Bangladesh Under-19 side are scheduled to return to the country tomorrow afternoon and the prime minister said the young Tigers would be accorded a grand reception.
"We'll also accord a grand reception to the ICC Under-19 World Cup-winning Bangladesh team," Hasina declared.
Road, Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader mentioned the venue for the reception while saying that the date for the reception is yet to be set.
"The date will be set after the team returns. The reception will be held at Suhrawardy Udyan," Quader said later at the cabinet meeting chaired by the prime minister.
Meanwhile, at the BCB headquarters in Mirpur, BCB President Nazmul Hassan also talked about future plans regarding the promising youngsters.
Bangladesh have always boasted promising young talent in age-level sides but the harsh reality has been that a large number of the talented players have faded away due to lack of planning surrounding age-level performers.
However, according to the BCB boss, the board has something special planned for this batch.
"This is a real problem [how the Under-19 stars fade away]. We have been discussing about it for two and a half years. Some players did very well but they will not get a chance in the national team right away. So, what to do with them?" asked Hassan.
However, the BCB president was reluctant to discuss details about the plans BCB had sketched for Ak-bar and Co but informed that he will talk about it once the Under-19 side return.
"If we include them in the High Performance (HP) camp, we see that the ones who were in the na-tional team previously or the ones who have been waiting, are making it to the HP team. So, the young ones aren't able to make it. Therefore, there is a chance for these players to fade away and many have in the past. That's why we made a plan regarding them, it has actually been set for a while. But I will not reveal what that plan is today [Monday]. I will talk about it when the team comes on Wednes-day," said Hassan.
Even though Akbar and his troops have served the BCB a very delightful news, the board still has a lot to worry about as the national side have succumbed to their sixth consecutive Test defeat after their loss by an innings and 44 runs against Pakistan in the first of two Tests in Rawalpindi yesterday. Hassan mentioned that some stern action awaits the national side.