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Akbar Ali, and a slice of Bangladesh history

the Bangladesh Cricket Board

Akbar Ali
MS Dhoni

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New Zealand
Sri Lanka

World Cup
the World Cup
the 2020 U-19 World Cup
this World Cup
the Asia Cup

Positivity     41.00%   
   Negativity   59.00%
The New York Times
Write a review: ESPN Cric Info

Those were spunky words from the captain of a team that had never before even reached the final in the history of the competition, but as the World Cup has progressed, it is steadily turning prophetic.On the eve of their semifinal against New Zealand, Akbar - looking to become the first Bangladesh captain in history to lead his team to a World Cup final - spoke to ESPNcricinfo about how his team have come this far."A lot of credit needs to go to the Bangladesh Cricket Board," Akbar said. Foreign tours, comfortable surroundings, need to give credit to the board."As a group, the current Bangladesh team came together in September 2018, when the board organised a focused camp to hand-pick those who would represent the country at the 2020 U-19 World Cup. Entering the tournament, they played 30 youth ODIs, winning 18. They beat England thrice in their own backyard, won series in Sri Lanka and New Zealand, and before the World Cup, had the second-highest win-percentage - behind India - for teams to have played 15 or more games. The togetherness has helped the team become a 'unit'."We have been together as a group for 15 months now to focus on this World Cup, so whenever we were in Bangladesh we stayed together as a camp," he says. The advantage of leading as a wicketkeeper isn't massive, but it cannot be ignored."When asked what makes this Bangladesh team worthy of winning a World Cup, Akbar didn't have an answer.

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