Rangpur target more success | The Daily Star
03:39 PM, September 18, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:49 PM, September 18, 2015

National Cricket League 2015-16

Rangpur target more success

Rangpur

Where they finished last season

Champions

Big Picture

Rangpur won their maiden NCL title last season in a last-ball finish on the final day of the competition. Though there was controversy in their last match against Dhaka Division, it was investigated and cleared by the BCB's anti-corruption committee in August.

Rangpur were the only unbeaten team last season. They had a number of performers, among them Liton Das, who made 1024 runs at 85.33 but will be missing this year due to his international commitments. The likes of Naeem Islam, Ariful Haque and captain Sajedul Islam will have to take on more responsibility in Liton's absence.

Key player

Rangpur's Mahmudul Hasan was the standout all-rounder in the domestic competition last season. A repeat performance could see him get close to a Bangladesh call-up.

Below the radar

Offspinner Sanjit Saha is a right-arm offspinner who made his first-class debut last season, taking 12 wickets in five matches. He will shift between Rangpur and the Bangladesh Under-19 team, for whom he has impressed too.

What they say

"We are defending champions so our target would be to reach the final of Tier 1, which will decide the eventual winner."
Rangpur captain Sajedul Islam

Khulna

Where they finished last season

Runners-up.

Big Picture

Khulna missed out on a fourth NCL title by a whisker last season, but like every year, the hunt for the title will not cease. Over the last few years the Khulna region has taken over the mantle of producing many top players from Rajshahi. Shakib Al Hasan, who hails from Magura, is their biggest name and he will play for them for the first time in almost three years.

Veterans Tushar Imran and Abdur Razzak will once again be required to score big and take plenty of wickets as the likes of Shakib, Imrul Kayes, Mustafizur Rahman and Soumya Sarkar can be expected to make fleeting appearances because they will busy playing Australia in October. Nurul Hasan and Mehedi Hasan Miraz are young players who can be expected to make a better contribution.

Key player

Despite not playing Tests for Bangladesh, Abdur Razzak remains one of the most consistent bowlers in domestic first-class cricket. He took 41 wickets with four five-fors and a ten-wicket haul last season, and will once again be the most important bowler in his side's attack.

Below the radar

Miraz's NCL performance will help him lay the foundation for his batting and bowling, as he will be no doubt be busy this season with domestic tournaments as well as the run-up to the Under-19 World Cup.

Dhaka Division

Where they finished last season

Third

Big Picture

They were favourites last season but couldn't threaten for the title against Rangpur and Khulna. Like Rangpur, they will miss the service of a strong opener in Rony Talukdar, who is set to be busy with Bangladesh A on their tours to India, South Africa and Zimbabwe until the end of October.

Abdul Majid, the other opener who did well last season, will therefore have a bigger role this season. Mysukur Rahman is likely to open with Majid. The likes of Raqibul Hasan, Mohammad Sharif, Mosharraf Hossain and Nadif Chowdhury are important players and will once again be expected to carry most of the burden, although Dhaka Division can expect Nasiruddin Faruque to make a healthy contribution with the bat too, given his first-class experience. Nazmul Islam, the left-arm spinner, will be key in the bowling attack.

Key player

Mosharraf Hossain has been one of the most consistent allrounders in Bangladesh's domestic scene in every format. He spends his summers in England, which gives his cricket an extra edge. With Dhaka missing some important players, his abilities to take wickets with left-arm spin and score useful runs in the lower-middle order will be highly appreciated.

Below the radar

Saif Hassan, an attacking opening batsman, has been impressive for Bangladesh Under-19s and for Barisal in the four first-class games he played last season.

What they say

"Dhaka team has always been among the top three teams. This year, too, we hope to be in that stage, and qualify for the final."
Dhaka allrounder Mosharraf Hossain.

Dhaka Metro

Where they finished last season

Fourth.

Big Picture

Dhaka Metropolis will start the NCL's two-tier competition in the first tier, after finishing last season just above first-class heavyweights Rajshahi. Dhaka Metro had a moderate season, and will look forward to a better one under the coaching of Sarwar Imran, Bangladesh's most successful domestic coach.

Mahmudullah will start as captain but he will be available for only the first match and possibly a game or two later in the tournament, due to his Bangladesh commitments. Dhaka Metro will depend on Shamsur Rahman, Marshall Ayub and Mehrab Hossain jnr for runs, and they have been doing well over pervious seasons.

Elias Sunny will have to lead the bowling attack because Mohammad Shahid will also be busy with the Bangladesh matches in October. Sunny took 42 wickets, the most last season.

Key players

Mehrab Hossain jnr, the left-hand middle-order batsman, has been out of the senior team for a long time now but he has always performed well in domestic competitions. He will have to do a lot of the running for Dhaka Metro this season.

Below the radar

Left-arm pace bowler Abu Hider impressed during the High Performance camp that concluded in September, as well as for Bangladesh Under-19s, so this will be a big season for him. There is promise of helpful wickets for seamers but it usually lasts only for the first few weeks, so an early impression would be expected from him.

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