Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal signs for Gazi Tank Cricketers for the upcoming Dhaka Premier League as club owner Lutfur Rahman Badal (R) watches yesterday. The club has also bagged Shakib Al Hasan, who is expected to play in the competition in October. PHOTO: STAR
Spinners Arafat Sunny and Shohag Gazi were the only players stranded without a team at the end of the first phase of the players' transfer of the Dhaka Premier League, scheduled to start in October.
Lutfur Rahman Badal, owner of reigning champions Gazi Tank Cricket Club, stuck to his traditional strategy of signing Bangladesh's heavyweights Tamim Iqbal and Shakib AL Hasan.
While it's still not sure as to whether Shakib, who is serving a disciplinary suspension, will get to take part in the league, it seems Badal has already struck an unofficial deal with him. Apart from him they have also retained pacer Rubel Hossain.
Tamim was confident of another Gazi Tank success story this year.
“I have been playing for him (Badal) for a while now and the best part about him is his team management. We have always received complete support and at the same time enjoyed our freedom on the field,” said Tamim.
Badal's primary choice as captain is Shakib. However, if the left-hander is not allowed to play, Tamim will lead the side.
Kalabagan Cricket Academy, who finished sixth last year, have signed the in-form Anamul Haque Bijoy and the young Sabbir Rahman.
Bijoy, who was also offered a deal by Abahani, chose KCA due to a more lucrative offer.
“I waited on Abahani for a while but I was not that interested in their latest offer,” said Bijoy.
“I don't think there's an advantage (playing for big teams like Abahani and Mohammedan). I think every match in the league has pressure and so I don't think it will be a problem. Maybe if we do well this year, big players will want to play for this team,” he added.
Victoria Sporting Club hope to improve on their eighth-placed finished last year as they signed the in-form Imrul Kayes. Kayes, who played for champions Gazi Tank last year, was the second highest run-scorer of the competition and played a key role in their victory.
The first phase involved the transfer of those players in the 23-member pool, which mainly included the national players. The second phase of transfers will take place later this month.