Ashraful in bullish mood | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 09, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 09, 2007

National Cricket League 2007-08

Ashraful in bullish mood

Dhaka captain Mohammad Ashraful said that he has a headache everyone would love to have when his side starts their campaign in a bid to retain the National Cricket League title.
"I don't know whether there is any weak point in my team and I think the main problem will be to choose the playing eleven. You know Dhaka is always crowded with star players," said the national captain.
"We were even unable to accommodate players like Mehrab Hossain (Opee) and Rashedul Haque in the 20-member list," he added.
To the Bangladesh skipper, last year tournament was a memorable one although he played only three games before being recalled to the national side on the back of a magnificent 263 runs, his maiden first-class double hundred.
"I think it's an event where one player can improve his batting or bowling by a significant margin. Every player has to set a target," he observed.
The 24-year old right-hander was supremely confident that they would be able to maintain their supremacy in both versions of the games in the first-class competition, despite the fact that this year all the teams will benefit from the service of the national team players.
"If we can play to our potential then it will not be a big task for my team to retain both titles," said a confident Ashraful.
While the main talking point has been this year's hefty financial package, the ace batsman believes that it is not all about the money instead stating that the participation of national players will make the tournament more competitive than in the last few years.
"I don't try to underestimate the financial boost for the players because money always plays a big role to bring seriousness among the players. But I can tell from my playing experience that the presence of national players will matter more for the tournament," he explained.
"It's really exciting that we will be able to play at least six rounds before the New Zealand trip. I think it will be a real test for the national players before the tour," he added.
Ashraful however believes that everything will be in vain if the organisers fail to produce requisite standard pitches for the competition.
"Many people are saying that it would be wise to prepare a pitch akin to the surfaces in New Zealand.
But is that practically possible? I think no.
What would be wise is for us to ensure wickets which produce even bounce. And I suggest batting wickets for the one-day competition because if we can make a habit of posting 250 plus runs than it will ultimately bring some positives," he observed.
Ashraful however said that the tournament will be helpful for the national players to show something in the tough tour of New Zealand.
"You know there is nothing better than to have competitive match practice before any series.
We had some success in the last World Cup in West Indies because we went there after playing the Premier Division Cricket league," he said.

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