Everyone by now knows about Akbar Ali's innings in the final and how he helped his team clinch their first ever World Cup, which has arguably been labelled as the greatest sporting moment in the country's history.
But few know about the Bangladesh U-19 Captain's story of being dropped from the squad ahead of the World Cup.
In an exclusive interview with The Business Standard, BKSP head coach, Masud Hasan spoke in-depth about Akbar – how he was dropped, how Masud fought to bring him back into the team, and much more.
"Akbar was not in the initial 24-man squad for the U-19 World Cup. That's when I tried by best to speak to the board and the selectors to convince them to give Akbar a spot. And they finally listened as Akbar was picked for the tour of New Zealand," Masud said.
And in that tour, Akbar would lead the Bangladesh U-19 team to a big 1-4 youth ODI series win against the Kiwis, opening his door to the World Cup but Akbar's performance in the first game wasn't convincing.
"In the first match against New Zealand, I was there with Hannan Sarkar. I was speaking with the team management of the U-19 team. I explained that I'm not asking for any favours or anything but I think that there was some mistake in Akbar not getting selected. I told them that Akbar's selection would be good for the team eventually but Akbar didn't do well in the first game. But then Hannan called be in the dressing room and told me to manage his passport. I got it and got a photocopy of the passport and gave it to Hannan. And when the squad was finally announced, I saw Akbar's name was there," Masud explained.
Masud was full of praise for Akbar and his mentality and how he was different from the others from a young age.
"Akbar was always a thinking cricketer and had a calm head on his shoulders. He wasn't like the other kids, and he showed a level of maturity that belied his age early on. He was always the one organising the get-togethers and the one leading," he said.
He explained that the signs that Akbar would be a captain or a leader within the dressing room was there from the very beginning.
"The leadership came naturally to him and as a coach our job is to extract the best out of each player and help them maximise it. Akbar would be able to read the game situations very well and play accordingly. Understanding that from age-level cricket is something big and after coaching him for a while, I realized that he understands aspects of the game that even I don't think about," Masud said.
But perhaps the biggest compliment came when Masud compared Akbar to Shakib Al Hasan in the way they think about and understand cricket.
"I was coach when Shakib Al Hasan was playing age-level cricket and Shakib was a quick learner. He would understand what I'm trying to teach them and it was really easy to coach him. The same applied for Akbar," Masud added.
The BKSP coach was hopeful that all eight of his BKSP students, that made the World Cup squad and came back as champions would go on to do well in international cricket, but didn't want to pick any favourites.
"As a coach, I have to say that they are all my students and all like my children. Akbar's name will definitely be in the mix of players that will hopefully do well in international cricket, but I hope all of them have a bright future ahead and do well from here on in," Masud concluded.