Bangladesh yesterday clinched their maiden U-19 ICC World Cup victory against India in South Africa’s Potchefstroom. While India has always maintained the true spirit of the game, Bangladesh, on the other hand, indulged in an uncultured show of uncivility right after hitting their winning runs.
India had set a decent target of 177 against Bangladesh, which, due to rainy conditions was toned down to 170 by the DRS system. Bangladesh successfully chased the target with 23 balls to spare and 3 wickets in hand. After Rakibul Hassan hit the winning shot, the entire Bangladeshi squad stormed the field and indulged in chest-thumping violently, throwing profanities at their Indian counterparts. This resulted in a physical altercation which lasted for almost a minute before the Indian side was calmed down by their coach, Paras Mhambrey. The hooliganism of the Bangladeshi squad irked many cricket fans across the spectrum.
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Even during the Asian Cup Final, in which India defeated Bangladesh, a similar brawl was initiated. Time and again, the Bangladeshi team has earned itself an infamous reputation of not accepting defeats in a sportsman-like manner. The entire game yesterday was made tense by the Bangladeshis as they indulged in incessant cussing of Indian players, and also deliberately played harsh against them. In the 2nd over of India’s innings, pacer Tanzim Hasan Sakib almost hit opener Divyansh Saxena on the head with his wild throw after the Indian batsman played the shot back to the bowler. After his throw, Sakib also uttered some words to Saxena. Moreover, after Yashasvi Jaiswal’s terrific innings of 88 runs that helped India get to its total od 177, Shoriful Islam gave him a send-off to further portray his team’s deranged mentality.
After unprecedented outrage, Bangladeshi skipper Akbar Ali said, “I don’t know what exactly happened. I didn’t ask what was going on. But, you know, in the final, emotion can come out, and sometimes the boys were getting pumped, and emotions were coming through. As a youngster, it shouldn’t happen. In any position, in any manner, we have to show respect to the opponent, we should have respect for the game. He then added, “I’ll say India-Bangladesh rivalry bring the part, and before the World Cup final, we lost the Asia Cup final to them a couple of months ago. So I think the boys are really pumped up and take revenge…I won’t say it should have happened, but I will be sorry for my side.” Ali makes it abundantly clear that his team was baying for revenge after the crushing defeat which was delivered to them during the Asia Cup Finale.
While many were appreciative of Bangladesh managing to defeat India in an all-important World Cup Finale, their celebrations were watered down owing to the primitive behaviour they exhibited on field. While their team is indeed extraordinarily talented, Bangladesh might consider tutoring their players with a crash course in basic human decency and sportsmanship.
Bangladesh cannot be allowed to behave according to their wild whims and fancies whenever they want to. ICC must set a precedent so that such a vulgar show of boorish behaviour is prevented in the future.