Mirpur: Despite losing the Asia Cup cricket final to Pakistan by two runs, Bangladesh managed to win several hearts with their lion-hearted performances in the series with former players heaping lavish praise on the Tigers.
"I think Bangladesh has emerged with a new fighting spirit and self belief. They might have lost but they were certainly not disgraced," former Pakistan Test captain Javed Miandad said.
"They appear to have benefitted a lot from holding the Bangladesh Premier League and their team appears to have improved a lot," he said.
Pakistan regained the Asia Cup title after a gap of 12 years, sparking off a wave of celebration here with heavy aerial firing and people dancing to drum beats.
Former captain Rashid Latif said Pakistan's win wasn't surprising but Bangladesh's fighting spirit was.
"Pakistan's win is good but not unexpected. What is unexpected is definitely the way Bangladesh team fought in the final. They fell short by just two runs and that says a lot for the improvement in their ranks," he said.
Pakistan's chief selector Iqbal Qasim said he was relieved at the result.
"If we had lost the final it would have come as a big shock to Pakistan cricket because no one expected us to lose the final. But Bangladesh gave us a hard time and there are areas where we need to improve," he said.
All-rounder Shoaib Malik said, "I must give credit to Bangladesh for putting up a good fight. They appear to have improved their batting, bowling and fielding. They had belief they could win the final."
The Chairman of the Pakistan Board, Zaka Ashraf, also congratulated the team for winning the Asia Cup after over a decade-long gap.
"This Pakistan team deserves plaudits on this victory. It kept its nerve against a resurgent Bangladesh and proved themselves a better side," he said.