World champion jr Tigers get heroes reception
Bangladesh Under-19 team were showered with love and adulation of thousands of fans when the world champion side returned home on Wednesday after their monumental triumph in the ICC Under-19 World Cup in South Africa.
An Emirates flight carrying the victorious team landed at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 4:55pm amid huge roar from waiting fans.
State minister for youth and sports Zahid Ahsan Russell and Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan received the Bangladesh boys and support staff with flower garlands at the airport along with other government and BCB high ups.
Hundreds of fans wielding Bangladesh flag and placards saying World Champions were present at the airport to receive the junior Tigers.
The players and BCB officials then hoped on into a specially designed team bus, which was painted in national colours and had ‘World Champions’ inscribed in the front.
Thousands of people stood on both sides of the street, cheered on the champion side the entire rout from the airport to the BCB headquarters in Mirpur.
Law enforcement vehicles were escorting the team bus as endless processions of bikes, with many of them proudly waving the national flag, accompanied the players to Mirpur.
The team bus arrived at the BCB headquarters at 6:30pm and the players and officials were greeted with resounding cheers from thousands of fans waiting outside the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
Inside, the family members of the players were waiting and the young boys finally got to meet their loved ones after over a month.
Fans waiting outside then quickly filled one side of the stands, although BCB initially had planned to not let any spectators inside for the ceremony.
A red carpet was rolled out for the players to make their way to the stage, where they joined alongside BCB president and a number of dignitaries at 7:30pm.
Skipper Akbar Ali revealed the trophy at the stage and handed it to BCB president Nazmul and they both lifted the trophy to show it to the roaring fans.
The law enforcement agencies struggled to contain the overriding number of fans present at the venue, many of whom had made their way to the ground, and had to clear out the space around the stage.
The players and the president then cut a special commemorative cake, with fireworks being set off a total of 19 times to symbolise the remarkable feat of the Under-19 side.
The players then posed with the trophy and paraded it to the crowd present at the stands, to end the festivities at the ground.
‘Time was little, but we tried our best to arrange a programme for the champion team,’ BCB chief executive officer Nizamuddin Chowdhury told reporters in Mirpur.
BCB president Nazmul and skipper Akbar then sat in a press conference inside the BCB headquarters.
The players, support staff and other officials then headed to a special gala dinner, arranged in honour of the junior Tigers.
The players who reside in Dhaka went back to their homes while the others spent the night at the BCB academy, with the board arranging separate vehicles for every player to escort them to their residence.