Tigers seeking return to normalcy
Bangladesh players Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad and Taijul Islam -- witnesses to the horrific and tragic shooting in Christchurch last Friday that left 50 dead -- attended a doa mahfil alongside Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza in Mirpur yesterday. The doa mahfil was organised by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to show gratitude for the safe return of the cricketers from New Zealand.
While it would be tough for the Tigers to overcome the trauma of the incident, the likes of Soumya Sarkar and Shadman Islam seemed to get back to cricketing business right away as they were seen practising at the Academy Ground in Mirpur ahead of the second phase of the Dhaka Premier League, which kicks off today. Defending champions Abahani Limited will be taking on Shinepukur Cricket Club at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah while Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club will battle it out with Prime Bank Cricket Club at BKSP-3. The other game of the day will see Legends of Rupganj facing Mohammedan Sporting Club at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
While it can be hoped that some national players will feature in the second phase of the ongoing DPL, the non-participation of one player can pretty much be assumed. Bangladesh Test and T20I captain Shakib Al Hasan -- currently undergoing a two-week rehabilitation programme following his little finger injury -- will not be playing in this edition of the tournament.
BCB president Nazmul Hassan ruled out any chance of the ace all-rounder's participation in the DPL, labelling it an 'absolute no' when talking to reporters after the doa mahfil.
"Number one is that the whole thing depends on the medical [report] and he needs to do as the doctors suggest and we do not have any say on it.
"Number two, I don't see any possibility of him playing in the Premier Division -- absolutely no. The draft list does not have their names on it, so how can he play? I don't even know why this question arises," Hassan said.
Hassan also said that players like Tamim, Mushfiqur and Shakib, who did not put their names on the initial DPL draft, cannot expect to play from halfway into the tournament.
"If they wanted to play, then they could have put their names on the draft list initially and any club could have picked them, it would not have been a problem. It cannot be that they would not put their names on the draft and suddenly realise that they would play a game today and then again not play the next one tomorrow. The Dhaka Premier League is not that simple."
Hassan also said that a statement about Shakib's injury could be made only after another medical assessment.
"Shakib previously said to me that he wanted to play the Premier League. I said this before I went to an ICC board meeting in Dubai and then we thought that he could play in the second Test [against New Zealand]. But the report that came after that, it said that he had been advised a two-week rest period by the doctors, which ends on March 20. After that he will be assessed once again and then we can know about his situation."