Bangladesh’s maiden title triumph at the Under-19 World Cup in Potchefstroom on Sunday (February 9) was followed by an aggressive celebration of the players, a move that Indian skipper Priyam Garg termed as “dirty”. His Bangladesh counterpart Akbar Ali, however, apologised for the “unfortunate incident” on behalf of his team.
Defending champions India suffered a three-wicket defeat against Bangladesh in the Under-19 World Cup finale on Sunday, following which, some of the Bangladeshi players got carried away with their celebration. While skipper Ali tendered an apology, India’s Garg felt it is something that should not have happened.
“We were easy. We think it’s part and parcel of the game — you win some and you lose some. But their reaction was dirty. I think it shouldn’t have happened. But it’s okay,” Garg was quoted as saying by Cricinfo during the post-match press conference.
Even when the match on, Bangladesh players were overly aggressive while fielding with their lead pacer Shoriful Islam sledging the Indian batsmen after every delivery. In fact as Bangladesh approached the winning runs, Shoriful was seen swearing multiple times on camera.
However, skipper Ali showed maturity beyond his age to apologise on behalf of the players. “What happened, it should not (have) happened. 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,” he said.
“As a youngster, it shouldn’t happen. In any position, in any manner, we have to show the respect to the opponent, we should have respect for the game. Cricket is known for being a gentleman’s game. So I’ll say, I’ll be sorry for my team,” said Ali, who scored an unbeaten 43 in a high-pressure situation.
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Over the past two years, both teams were involved in close games with India getting the better of them on two important occasions — the Asia Cup final and tri-series final last year.
“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 a revenge. I won’t say it should have happened, but I will be sorry for my side,” said Ali.
A source close to the Indian team management told PTI that emotions ran high during and after the game but “none of the Indian players was at fault”.
(With inputs from agencies)