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Ajfar
January 28, 2009, 09:49 PM
He is a 24-year-old Bangladeshi who took the Indian Cricket League by storm in his debut season. His timid nature off the field is a stark contrast to the raw aggressive temperament that he displays on the cricket field. He is Alok Kapali, the man who scored the first-ever century at the ICL.

One year after the league was born, organisers, fans and critics looked back and were pleased with all that had been – the records that were set and the performances that were a part of the league. But there was still something missing. In the inaugural season, three international 20-20 tournaments had gone by and not one man had scored a century! Many thought that the slow nature of the wickets and the obvious restrictions in the 20-over format prevented batsmen from reaching the revered three-figure mark but with the dawn of the new season those myths were soon going to be shattered.
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When Habibul Bashar’s Warriors walked out onto the floodlit Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium on the 15th of October, very few people believed that the debutant team was capable of springing a surprise on the Hyderabad Heroes in terms of team or individual performances. But the apparently timid warriors had an unexpected ace up their sleeve. His name – Alok Kapali.

The Warriors, who were only one-game old in the league, won the toss and elected to bat first but made a mess of their start losing three quick wickets. Hyderabad captain Chris Harris must have been thrilled with the way his bowlers had the game in control, but he had no idea about how the next 16 overs were going to make his side lose control in the most unexpected fashion. With Aftab Ahmad back in the hut and with just 30 runs on the board, Alok Kapali walked into the middle, keen to stand up and be counted, and he did just that. Kapali faced just sixty deliveries to script a historic first-ever century at the ICL and what a century it was!

We asked his captain, Habibul Bashar, what he had to say about the knock after the game, and he was as awestruck as the spectators at the Hyderabad stadium. “Well, he is just amazing, isn’t he? That innings was just fantastic! The 100 runs came out of nowhere! We were struggling a bit in the game but he just came out there and hit everyone around the park with ease!”
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So dominant was Kapali’s knock that the Hyderabad bowlers could only run in, bowl and watch that magic unfold! Nicky Boje had a few interesting thoughts to share on the blitzkrieg innings, “He played fantastically; it seemed like very ball that he hit went for a 6 or a 4! It is always difficult as a bowler or as a captain to defend against an onslaught like that. He played very well and he deserved to get that hundred.”

While heaps of praise have been showered on the 24-year-old for his bold century, he himself is very modest about his achievement, making it sound like reaching the hundred was a piece of cake. “When I went out to bat I had a plan to bat the full 20 overs. When I began to connect the ball well I thought I would try and make a century and I made it! I always try to play my natural explosive game and I didn’t do anything different on that day,” said the shy Bangladeshi in retrospect.

“I told all my non-strikers to give me singles so that I could play for both ends!” said Kapali who shared a phenomenal 77-run partnership with Dhiman Ghosh in which the latter scored only 8 runs! That just goes to show how the centurion dominated proceedings on that day. “I told him to just stay at the other end and that I would do all the scoring and that is exactly what happened,” said a content Kapali after the big knock.
<TABLE cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=1 width=150 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD align=middle bgColor=#ffffff>http://indiancricketleague.in/images/specials/features/kapali-3.jpg</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
The Dhaka Warriors coach, Balwinder Singh Sandhu, too has only words of praise for the young lad. “He is a fantastic cricketer! He doesn’t look as explosive as he actually is. He is exciting and talented and has a lot of potential. He has a good cricketing brain and is a thinker. What’s more, he plays for the team, which is great!”

Habibul Bashar also mentions that more than the century, it is his fighting spirit that has added a lot to the team. “It is not just that 100, the way he is batting (overall) in this tournament is just fantastic! He has been hitting the ball very well. He has been taking those vital singles and he is just looking like a complete batsman. He is so far the highest run-getter in the tournament and that has been good for him and good for the team as well. I only hope that his form continues and that he is able to keep the momentum going to take our team to where we want to go.”

Unfortunately, the first ICL century didn’t result in a victory for the centurion’s team but what it did do was break the mould and set a brand new standard for what is possible at the ICL. Kapali’s classic knock will now help a few batsmen ask themselves questions about the benchmarks that they tend to set for themselves. Don’t be surprised if a few more guys in the league now reach that revered three-figure mark in the future after taking a leaf out of the young Warrior’s book!

- Mamta Joseph

http://www.indiancricketleague.in/specials/inner.aspx?type=feature-stories&xfile=feature-stories/2008/November/feature-stories_20081103_3

Zeeshan
January 29, 2009, 02:01 AM
If I were to unban only one player from the list, it'd be him.

Zeeshan
January 29, 2009, 02:10 AM
No Mayanti picture thread?

bujhee kom
January 29, 2009, 04:03 AM
in my heart he is a gunuine son of bangla glory! his father will always be proud of him in heaven! i hope things can change and alok can come back to the national team and ncl and shine again!

cric crazy
January 29, 2009, 05:39 AM
KAPALI is KING, no doubt about it.

Hopefully commonsense will prevail and the king will take his throne.

OK , I know I am getting a bit carried away here, but just imagine, if Kapali manages to retain this kind of form along with Sakib and a few others, BD cricket will be a force to be reckoned with, in a few years time.

Sovik
January 29, 2009, 07:06 AM
he is 24!

Baundule
January 29, 2009, 08:48 AM
he is 24!
It is not only Kapali, the same is true for most of our wasted talents. I was pleasantly surprised, not by the runs they were scoring, but by the approach they were taking towards their matches. Kapali was a man in-form and it seemed like I was watching him for the first time.

Actually, our team (national team) will not be 'automatically' stronger, even if we get Nafis, Kapali, Dhiman or Aftab back. The problem lies in the approach of the team, not only on individuals. They will only increase the number of options; but the team should be selected solely on form. If the selectors put some pre-defined priority to some out of form players, that will not add anything to the team performance.

mijanur
January 29, 2009, 01:36 PM
alok is a king lol
any1 know wen will season 3 begin coz cant wait for it

gunda
January 30, 2009, 07:10 AM
The problem is professionalism, while in ICL they are recieving good training good facilities. in BD they are not, and thats the difference why they are performing in ICL and not in BD.
It's very simple BCB is phatetic they don't care about cricket..what do you expect most of them are polititians. Alok,nafis aftab etc are performing in ICL but if they go back to BD, they will be like them incostinstent. The root is BCB, until something gets done about them..then nothings gona happen. we need a military coup to get rid of these morons from BCB, and only then can we see our mother land our pride our bangladesh perform and rise like DW.

Ajfar
January 30, 2009, 01:55 PM
i think that century turned everything around for dhaka warriors...i'm pretty sure bashar will be on a hunt to get some more players on his team...i just hope that we dont lose any more of our young talented players...

sbsash
January 30, 2009, 06:06 PM
If I were to unban only one player from the list, it'd be him.

me too

Raynman
January 31, 2009, 12:34 PM
the difference with the DW and BD team was the harmony. the DW seemed to be enjoying playing with each other even in defeat which was also evident in the 2007 WC team. The BD national team seems to be missing that right now. It has to be a difference in the coaching, captaincy, environment or maybe all of the above.

I can't wait for the next season to see if this improvement by the DW team continues. SN, AK were in form. DG was briliiant behind the wicket. Rafique was dependable as ever. Mosharof did well and Bashar made a lot of right decisions when needed. Aftab played his role well too and the pacers seemed to be understanding their role better towards the end.

I hope this ICL drama with ICC/BCCI is resolved soon and these guys can serve their country in England in June or WI in April next year for the world cups.