Hosts Bangladesh lifted their maiden international volleyball title with a comfortable 3-0 set win over Kyrgyzstan in the final of the Bangabandhu Asian Senior Men’s Central Zone International Volleyball Championship in Dhaka on Tuesday.
The men in Red and Green won the first two sets by 25-22 and 25-23 points before Kyrgyzstan pulled out from the game due to an unexpected injury to Toktoev Nurmukhammed in the third set.
The knee injury left the player out of the field and Kyrgyz coach decided not to continue the final set due to shortage of players as they came with just eight players, one short of usual nine-member squad.
Bangladesh were leading the third set by 7-6 points when Kyrgyzstan decided to give up, prompting the match officials to declare the hosts as winners in the third set by 15-6 points as well as the match by 3-0 sets.
The win also came as a revenge for the home side as they suffered their only loss of the tournament to Kyrgyzstan in the round robin league.
Bangladesh captain Sayeed Al Zabir dedicated the title to the whole nation after he was was adjudged as the man-of-the-final.
‘It was not only a win for us but also for the whole nation because we never won any international title in volleyball before,’ said a jubilant Zabir with the trophy in hand.
‘We said before the start of the tournament that our primary target was to reach the final. We exceeded our expectations so I can’t express my feelings.’
Bangladesh’s Iranian coach Ali Pour Aroji, who took charge of the team just two months ago, was happy to see his charges lift the title.
‘I’m very happy because Kyrgyzstan came here with a good preparation in Sri Lanka where they played lot of warm-up matches against the home side,’ said Aroji.
‘I think the boys need more time for further development. If the federation keeps supporting them financially and if they work hard they will improve in future.’
Horoshit Biswas, who was adjudged as the player of the tournament for his great all-round performance throughout the competition, expressed his gratitude to their Iranian coach.
‘We learnt a lot from the coach who introduced us modern volleyball,’ said Horoshit.
‘We adopted the modern style under his guidance and played with four attackers which helped us beat such as strong opponent like Kyrgyzstan.’
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Volleyball Federation president Atiqul Islam promised to do everything for the development of the game.
‘This achievement will definitely inspire us to undertake some programmes,’ he said.
‘We will go for a franchisee league soon and will also start talent hunt programme to find more players,’ he said.
Alif Group, one of the co-sponsors of the tournament, awarded Tk 10 lakh cash reward to the winning side.
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