Underdogs banking on domestic performers | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 22, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:51 PM, November 22, 2020

Underdogs banking on domestic performers

With the Bangabandhu T20 Cup starting from November 24, cricket enthusiasts in Bangladesh are eager to watch local stars battle it out against each. In the lead-up to the tournament, The Daily Star tries to assess and analyse each of the five teams. Today, we present the fifth and final part, an overview of Minister Rajshahi.

Background: Minister Rajshahi are the only team that did not pick any Grade A cricketers during the players' draft. Rajshahi picked all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin with their first call, a decision that surprised many. With hardly any big names in the squad, they are being led by young Najmul Hossain Shanto. Rajshahi are apparently banking on experienced domestic performers during the players' draft. It seems Rajshahi wanted to take on the challenge with utility players lining their squad and are focused on their game plan. It will be interesting to see their approach as the tournament begins.

National Stars: Although there are not many current national stars in the Rajshahi squad aside from Saifuddin and Najmul, they also have pacer Ebadot Hossain and wicketkeeper-batsman Nurul Hasan in the side. With no superstars as such in the line-up, Rajshahi are trying to keep a low profile and looking to play the role of a surprise package.

Local Performers: Rajshahi's strength lies in their plethora of domestic stars and national discards. Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful is gearing up to make a statement in the upcoming tournament alongside the likes of left-arm spinner Arafat Sunny, Sunzamul Islam, all-rounder Farhad Reza and batsmen Rony Talukdar, Rakibul Hasan and Fazle Mahmud. Rajshahi also has youth in the form of pacer Mukidul Islam Mugdho, who impressed in the BCB President's Cup last month, alongside Jaker Ali. Seaming all-rounder Anisul Emon also features and, according to head coach Sarwar Imran, he will provide the X-factor for his side.

What sets rajshahi apart: According to Imran, although it is the shortest format of the game, experience will come into play. "I think we have a good bowling unit with three solid pacers in the side in the likes of Saifuddin, Ebadot, and Mukidul. We have left-arm spinners and also three all-rounders which will help us play an extra bowler or batsman which is a very good thing. We also have one of the best wicketkeepers in the form of Nurul and I think we can be a strong force," said Imran.

Key Player: His importance to the side was clear for all to see as he was drafted with Rajshahi's first call and young pace-bowling all-rounder Saifuddin will surely be their go-to man. The feisty character will be eager to showcase his worth as the next big thing and it will be a huge platform for the youngster to actually take responsibility both with bat and ball.

 

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