Bangladesh U19 stunned the world by beating India U19 to clinch their first-ever ICC U19 World Cup title. While the manner of the victory itself was special, Bangladesh U19 skipper Akbar Ali had to battle mental trauma to lead Bangladesh to one of its finest cricketing moments in history. On January 22, Akbar's elder sister Khadija Khatun passed away while giving birth to twins.
Priyam Garg-led India U19s were the favourites to win the ICC U19 World Cup 2020. However, Bangladesh U19 had other ideas. Bangladesh U19 outplayed India U19 in all departments and registered a famous three-wicket win (DLS method) to bag their maiden ICC U19 World Cup 2020 title at the Senwes Park in Potchefstroom.
While the on-field action reached fever pitch at the Senwes Park when Akbar Ali stepped on the scene, the same cannot be said about him off the field as far as his battles were concerned.
Bangladesh U19 skipper Akbar Ali, in a report by an Indian wire service, reflected maturity beyond his age with his gritty knock days after he lost his elder sister. Ali lost his sister Khadija Khatun who passed away while giving birth to her twins on January 22 this year. Khatun was a source of strength to Akbar during his upsurge as the captain of the Bangladesh U19 side. She even watched her brother lead Bangladesh U19 in their side's resolute nine-wicket victory against Zimbabwe U19 on January 18.
Unfortunately, her death meant that she could not see Akbar Ali lift the trophy. Akbar’s father said that Akbar was the closest to his sister and the duo shared a deep relationship. He added that they first thought of not informing Akbar about the news. However, Akbar questioned his brother after the win against Pakistan. He asked about why he was not kept in the loop. Akbar Ali’s father admitted that he did not have the courage to speak to him.