Bangladesh captain Akbar Ali had to deal with the death of his elder sister while steering his team to the ICC Under-19 World Cup triumph, a report in leading Bangladeshi newspaper Prothom Alo stated.
Sunday’s title triumph in Potchefstroom, South Africa, was Bangladesh’s first in an ICC tournament.
At the forefront of the Bangladesh’s win in the title clash against favourites and defending champions India was their 18-year-old skipper Akbar, whose elder sister Khadija Khatun died while giving birth to twins on January 22, according to the report.
The ‘keeper-batsman was not informed about the tragedy initially but he found out through one of his brothers.
“Akbar was closest to his sister. She loved him a lot,” the young cricketer’s father was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
“We did not want to inform him at first. He then called after the Pakistan match and questioned his brother why he was not kept in the loop. I did not have the courage to talk to him. I don’t know what to say,” his father added.
In a low-scoring final, Bangladesh first bowled out India for 177 in 47.2 overs and then did well enough to chase down a revised target of 170 in 42.1 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method. They had three wickets in hand when the winning runs were scored.
Having witnessed Bangladesh’s victory against Zimbabwe in a Group C game on January 18, Khadija could not see her brother lead the country to its biggest cricketing triumph with a gritty, unbeaten 43.