Batsmen shine in unbearable heat
A Facebook status from former Bangladesh captain and current Prime Bank Cricket Club coach Khaled Masud shone a light on how much the cricketers have to suffer for their art when the Dhaka Premier League is played at the height of the scorching Bangladeshi summer.
He described in detail the pains that batsmen have to undertake to play long innings, wondering whether they can give their best in the apex proving ground for national selection.
“It is probably not possible to postpone the matches this season, but it is possible to think about the dates for next season,” wrote Masud in a lengthy post last evening. “I am requesting the BCB [Bangladesh Cricket Board] to finish the season's one-day or longer-version matches by mid-April.”
However, while the heat may militate against the players giving their best day in and day out, there have been enough encouraging performances from professional domestic cricketers.
“It is always a great pleasure to watch Liton [Das] playing a big knock,” Abahani coach and former national skipper Khaled Mahmud thus praised his opener who finished the first phase of the competition as the highest scorer.
The wicketkeeper-batsman scored 578 runs in 10 innings with two hundreds and three fifties and Mahmud believed that many more will come from the in-form batsman in the Super League, which will start from May 24 at BKSP and Fatullah.
“Liton is an excellent player and watching his batting is a different taste. Initially he struggled to convert his good starts into big ones but I talked with him and then he was just outstanding,” said Mahmud.
“I think batting in the first phase was brilliant. Most of our batsmen played positive cricket. Some familiar faces like Naeem Islam [527 runs], Junaed Siddique , Anamul Haque  and Rakibul Hasan  played good cricket and there was another batsman -- Robiul Islam Robi  -- who also justified his talent this season,” he continued.
There was a time when teams believed that 240-250 would be good enough scores to win the match but now players believe that they can chase down anything. “Players are very positive and confident now to chase down any total. I will request you to see the Abahani-Mohammedan match. The competition among the players is very high. Everybody knows that if they want to draw the attention of the [national] selectors they must come up with big scores because how else can you challenge any current national player? The standard of practice has improved greatly,” said Mahmud.
The bowling was however a concern for Mahmud as he believed that pace bowlers did not show much aptitude to bowl according to a plan on flat pitches, except left-arm pacer Abu Hider, who is the only pace bowler in the top five of the wicket-takers' list with 22 wickets.
It was however the left-am spinners -- Arafat Sunny (28 wickets), Taijul Islam (25), Nihaduzzaman (23) and Abdur Razzak (21) -- who dominated the proceedings.
“Yes, Sunny bowled well but overall the bowling is a concern. I am not impressed by the bowler's performance in the first phase. Our pace bowlers should learn the craft of how to execute plans on flat surfaces,” opined Mahmud.
Finally, Mahmud wholeheartedly thanked the players for playing good cricket in such scorching heat. “You know, even when it's almost unbearable to watch the match from the sidelines, the players give their hundred per cent in the middle under such heat, so they deserve special credit.”
Considering the immense heat, the Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis (CCDM) has decided to give two days break in between the Super League matches.