Wednesday, March 20, 2019 | ePaper
DPL kicks-off today
The 50-over format of Dhaka Premier League (DPL), the country's most coveted tournament, kicks-off today at three venues in the city as the players look to rectify the mistakes and make necessary adjustments of their game, keeping the ICC Cricket World Cup in mind.
"When you will be in the match, it will give you the match practice," said Abahani Limited coach Khaled Mahmud. "The DPL will give the players a chance to grow a habit of playing 50-over cricket. For the players, the DPL is the platform to make necessary adjustments and improvements, keeping the World Cup in mind."
"If the batsmen can play long innings, it will give them a confidence which will be great for them in the World Cup."
On the opening day of the league, Abahani Limited will take on Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Prothisthan (BKSP) at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium (SBNCS). Shiekh Jamal Dhanmondi Club will face off Uttara Sporting Club at Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium (KSOAS) while Legends of Rupganj will lock horns with Brothers Union at BKSP-3 ground.
Abahani however will not have the luxury to get the service of their captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza from the start of the league.
"Mashrafe may miss first three matches," said Mahmud. "He was due to play the DPL for Abahani after March 10. I hoped we would get his service from the second match but unfortunately he is now at abroad. Even I don't know when he will return to country."
Abahani have roped in Kushal Silva, a Sri Lankan top order batsman as their foreign recruit.
Mahmud was happy with the depth his side has and hoped to repeat the success of the previous league in which they became champions.
"Mosaddek Hossain Saikat will lead the side until Mashrafe comes back and takes over the duty. In the last league, Nasir was officially captain for us but it was Mashrafe who took all decisions."
"We have good depth in batting line up with Sabbir Rahman in the form. No doubt he is a match winner and it will be great for the national team if he keeps up his form," Mahmud said.
"For Sabbir, specially the DPL is important. Here he will get the chance to play at least 16 matches if we can move into the super league phase. And if he can hit three or four centuries here, this will be great achievement for him. Just before World Cup, this will boost his confidence."
On personal ground, the DPL is important for Mahmud also. "It's a most prestigious league in our country. The league has a rich traditional and everyone wants to do well. So league is personally important for me."
While title aspirant Abahani wants to have good start to the DPL, another aspirant Legends of Rupganj also seek a winning start.