Premier Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan admitted that foreign players have outshone the locals in the first-leg of the on-going Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). But the Dhaka Dynamites captain hoped that it would only spark the hunger of the local players to come to the party in the second leg starting in Dhaka tomorrow.
“Yes it is true that the foreigners have been performing better than the locals but one can only hope that this will push the others to find the drive and improve themselves accordingly so that they may pose the same kind of threat,” Shakib told reporters after a promotional event at a city hotel yesterday.
The most-sought-after cricketer has become the Bangladesh brand ambassador of OXY, a popular men's cosmetic brand and a wing of Rohto-Mentholatum Limited.
After being ushered in by a guard of honour with signature bats in a colourful ceremony that solidified him as the company's latest icon, the focus soon shifted to more demanding issues normally associated with the professional cricketer and Shakib happily compiled with the media's bombardment of questions ranging from the BPL to the upcoming home series against Sri Lanka.
The barrage of questions began with the spectacular start of Sylhet Sixers and their equally impressive home ground.
“The Sixers are enjoying a great start and they will surely look to continue that. The stadium is just great, it is a wonderful place to play and I hope to see international fixtures take place there soon,” the Tigers' T20 captain said.
He also faced the obvious question regarding an ugly spat between Mashrfee Bin Mortaza and Subashis Roy during a BPL game in Sylhet, which eventually went viral on social media. Although Mashrafee made every effort to pacify the episode with the young pace bowler, the question of respect for the seniors, or the lack of it, seems to keep on circulating.
But Shakib played a flat batted shot when asked if the respect, which has been a hallmark in the past, has diminished now.
“No, not at all. But as a cricketer I have only one concern and that is their [the players'] performances on the field, all other personal matters are theirs to deal with personally,” he said.
Regarding the upcoming home series against Sri Lanka, he seemingly implied that it could be a sort of redemption for the Tigers after their dismal outing in South Africa last month.
“Well I want and expect the best from us and that's what the nation expects as well so it is a crucial test for us and we look forward to giving it out best. Even Barcelona and Real Madrid have slumps but they recover and so can we,” he explained.
He also informed that he will be flying for the UAE on November 12, and will subsequently miss a few BPL fixtures, to practice with his T10 franchise ahead of the tournament on December 8.
Asked where he would be heading from the hotel he said 'practice' with an inquisitive smile on his face.