Bangladeshi street children get ready for Cricket World Cup

Rough English weather could be a challenge for the children. (Photo courtesy: Leedo)
Updated 28 April 2019
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Bangladeshi street children get ready for Cricket World Cup

  • Bangladeshi team has ‘huge potential,’ says coach
  • Rough English weather could be a challenge

DHAKA: Street children from Bangladesh will fly to the UK later this month to take part in a cricketing first, officials said Saturday.

The eight-member team will participate in a street cricket world cup in London, the first event of its kind.

 Leedo, a Dhaka-based charity that works with street children in the capital, selected the four boys and four girls from different parts of the city. Leedo currently hosts 52 children at its shelter.

“Our children are very excited to participate in the street child cricket world cup,” Forhad Hossain, from Leedo, told Arab News.

 The world cup is being organized by Street Child United, a UK charity, and technical support is being provided by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

 Other teams competing in the street cricket world cup are England, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Tajikistan, Congo and Mauritius. Matches will take place at Cambridge and Lords.

But getting the Bangladesh team to England has not been easy.

“It was a Herculean task for me to get along with the formalities like getting passports and UK visas for the children as they have no legal guardian. I had to go to court to ensure and attain legal guardianship for the children,” Hossain said.

Leedo also secured sponsorship to make the kids’ dreams come true.

“These children, with their participation in such a world event, have got the much-needed motivation to boldly move on with life in the future.”

Arjoo Rahman, 15, is one of the team members and said the street cricket world cup had changed her outlook on life.

“In my childhood I wanted to be a good dancer. But now, after getting involved with cricket, I decided to join the national women’s team,” she told Arab News.

All-rounder Russel Islam, 15, said he was confident and excited about the tournament.

“We are very confident to win the championship as we have practiced enough in the last couple of days. All of our players are very excited to prove their strength with batting and bowling,” he told Arab News.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board has even laid on a coach.

“These children have huge potential in cricket as they are very quick learners. I think the children will put up a good fight in the tournament,” coach Mohammed Jashim told Arab News.

But the inclement weather currently battering England may prove a challenge for the kids as they are used to warmer climes, he added.

The Bangladeshi team is scheduled to return home on May 10.


Algeria sink Senegal in fiery final to claim second Africa Cup of Nations

Updated 20 July 2019
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Algeria sink Senegal in fiery final to claim second Africa Cup of Nations

CAIRO: Baghdad Bounedjah’s early goal propelled Algeria to a first Africa Cup of Nations title in 29 years after a fiery 1-0 victory over Sadio Mane’s Senegal in Friday’s final in Cairo.
Bounedjah gave Algeria a dream start in the second minute when his deflected shot looped over Senegal goalkeeper Alfred Gomis, and it proved enough for the 1990 champions to lift the trophy on foreign soil for the first time.
For Senegal, who lost to Algeria by the same scoreline in the group stage, the long wait for a first continental crown goes on as coach Aliou Cisse, the captain of the 2002 runners-up, again fell short in the final.
It was the first title-decider to feature two African coaches since 1998, with Algeria boss Djamel Belmadi completing a whirlwind 12 months at the helm after inheriting a side that failed to make it out of the group stage two years ago.
With defensive rock Kalidou Koulibaly suspended for Senegal, Salif Sane deputised at the back and Ismaila Sarr was recalled in attack, while Belmadi kept faith in the same side that overcame Nigeria with an injury-time free-kick from Riyad Mahrez.
Senegal had understandably feared the absence of Napoli star Koulibaly, banned after two bookings in the knockout rounds, although the towering Sane was desperately unlucky as Algeria grabbed the lead with scarcely a minute played.
As Bounedjah took aim from 20 yards his effort smacked off Sane and arced high into the air before dropping underneath the crossbar and beyond a static Gomis, sparking delirious celebrations from both players and fans, some of whom arrived for the final on military planes provided by the Algerian government.
It was the first time Gomis had conceded in almost 400 minutes in Egypt having replaced the injured Edouard Mendy ahead of Senegal’s final group game.
Henri Saivet, who missed a penalty in the 1-0 victory over Tunisia, tried to catch Rais Mbohli out with a free-kick while Mbaye Niang fizzed a powerful drive just over as Senegal gradually showed signs of life before the half ended with both sets of players embroiled in a scuffle as they headed for the tunnel.
Senegal thought they had won a penalty on the hour when Cameroonian referee Alioum Alioum pointed to the spot for a suspected handball by Adlene Guedioura, but the official reversed his decision after a VAR review.
Niang rounded an advancing Mbohli after a searching ball through from Cheikhou Kouyate but the forward sliced wide of the target from a tough angle, with the Algeria ‘keeper then acrobatically tipping over a rasping drive from Youssouf Sabaly.
The Desert Foxes started to look jaded as Senegal brought on fresh legs in Krepin Diatta and Mbaye Diagne, but Youcef Belaili nearly made it 2-0 when his cross brushed the head of a defender and skimmed the roof of the net.
Sarr blazed over on the volley as Algeria clung on to their advantage in the closing minutes, the final whistle greeted by an outpouring of raw emotion as the North Africans emerged worthy winners of the expanded 24-team event.