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Isam
September 22, 2010, 01:32 PM
Barisal: Team of small stars

Mohammad Isam

The 12th National Cricket League is only a week away, with the first round matches starting on September 29 at three venues across the country. The Daily Star Sport will run a series of previews on all six divisional teams that are taking part in the country's lone first-class competition. Tomorrow, the second part of this series will be published.

Two years ago, they surprised everyone by getting close to the title, but last season they were pulled back to mediocrity when they finished second from bottom.

As Barisal prepare to launch their National Cricket League campaign against Chittagong at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra on September 29, it is with the hope of going one better.

"We have a good enough team to make it to the second round," said captain Shahin Hossain, who informed that the 30-man provisional squad would begin practice today at the local stadium in Barisal.

They certainly need to take a good look at every single player at their disposal, them being Barisal after all.

Barisal have been scraping the bottom of the country's only first-class competition for a long time now, apart from the 2008-09 season. That time, they won four games and were equal on points with eventual winners Rajshahi. But last year, they only won two games and failed to make it to the second round.

Their status as the perennial backwaters of cricket in the country usually brings a lot of outsiders in their squad but this year, Barisal's divisional sports association has had to select its own team from the little number of players in the region. But players like Hannan Sarkar, Kamrul Islam, Arafat Salahuddin, Nasiruddin Faruque, Tareq Ahmed and Shafaq Al Zabir have been called up to strengthen the Barisal squad.

In addition, Barisal have some good young players like opening batsman Asif Ahmed, off-spinner Sohag Gazi, batsmen Fazle Rabbi and Reazur Rahman and paceman Kamrul Islam Rabbi.

Asif hammered two centuries in two games and is touted a prospect in the country's age-group teams.

Shahin, an experienced wicketkeeper, believes that some of the better performers from last season like Asif and former national player Hannan could make the difference this year.

"We have some good young players from Barisal and also performers like Hannan, Nasiruddin who are not from the division.

"This mix will be good for us and I think these small 'stars' like [Asif Ahmed] Ratul, [Sohag] Gazi, [Kamrul Islam] Rabbi can perform this year," said Shahin.

Some have pointed out that the change in Bangladesh Cricket Board's policy to let the divisions select its team would harm teams like Barisal and Sylhet. But as Gazi Ashraf Hossain, the tournament committee chairman, pointed out last week, this empowering would do them good in the future. It is hoped by the board that in time, due to the lack of big name players, they would start producing better players from the divisions.

"Barisal is a player factory at this level. It has always produced run-scorers and wicket-takers. Rokibul [Hasan], Marshall Ayub and Sajidul Islam have all done really well for Barisal and then they have gone on to play better cricket," said Shahin.

Smaller teams at club, division or international levels have always banked on individual performances to lift the team from the mire and it is no different with Barisal. But now they are left at their own devises, in which way they react is for all to see.

Last year's position: Fifth.
Strength: Blend of outsiders and local players.
Player to watch out for: Asif Ahmed.

Isam
September 22, 2010, 01:32 PM
Barisal: Team of small stars

Mohammad Isam

Two years ago, they surprised everyone by getting close to the title, but last season they were pulled back to mediocrity when they finished second from bottom.

As Barisal prepare to launch their National Cricket League campaign against Chittagong at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra on September 29, it is with the hope of going one better.

"We have a good enough team to make it to the second round," said captain Shahin Hossain, who informed that the 30-man provisional squad would begin practice today at the local stadium in Barisal.

They certainly need to take a good look at every single player at their disposal, them being Barisal after all.

Barisal have been scraping the bottom of the country's only first-class competition for a long time now, apart from the 2008-09 season. That time, they won four games and were equal on points with eventual winners Rajshahi. But last year, they only won two games and failed to make it to the second round.

Their status as the perennial backwaters of cricket in the country usually brings a lot of outsiders in their squad but this year, Barisal's divisional sports association has had to select its own team from the little number of players in the region. But players like Hannan Sarkar, Kamrul Islam, Arafat Salahuddin, Nasiruddin Faruque, Tareq Ahmed and Shafaq Al Zabir have been called up to strengthen the Barisal squad.

In addition, Barisal have some good young players like opening batsman Asif Ahmed, off-spinner Sohag Gazi, batsmen Fazle Rabbi and Reazur Rahman and paceman Kamrul Islam Rabbi.

Asif hammered two centuries in two games and is touted a prospect in the country's age-group teams.

Shahin, an experienced wicketkeeper, believes that some of the better performers from last season like Asif and former national player Hannan could make the difference this year.

"We have some good young players from Barisal and also performers like Hannan, Nasiruddin who are not from the division.

"This mix will be good for us and I think these small 'stars' like [Asif Ahmed] Ratul, [Sohag] Gazi, [Kamrul Islam] Rabbi can perform this year," said Shahin.

Some have pointed out that the change in Bangladesh Cricket Board's policy to let the divisions select its team would harm teams like Barisal and Sylhet. But as Gazi Ashraf Hossain, the tournament committee chairman, pointed out last week, this empowering would do them good in the future. It is hoped by the board that in time, due to the lack of big name players, they would start producing better players from the divisions.

"Barisal is a player factory at this level. It has always produced run-scorers and wicket-takers. Rokibul [Hasan], Marshall Ayub and Sajidul Islam have all done really well for Barisal and then they have gone on to play better cricket," said Shahin.

Smaller teams at club, division or international levels have always banked on individual performances to lift the team from the mire and it is no different with Barisal. But now they are left at their own devises, in which way they react is for all to see.

Last year's position: Fifth.
Strength: Blend of outsiders and local players.
Player to watch out for: Asif Ahmed.

roman
September 22, 2010, 02:03 PM
nice read...Looking forward to see how Asif performs

Tiger444
September 22, 2010, 02:10 PM
Good article..Asif is going to be key..he looks a very good batsman but what worries me about him was how he was average in the U19 team..hopefully he really improves and keeps performing in domestics..its sad that Dhaka snagged Roqibul, Ayub, and Sajidul from them..Roqibul probably won't be much of a factor since he's on the national team but Ayub and Sajidul could've really helped..

Habib
September 22, 2010, 02:13 PM
^ I read somewhere that Rakibul will play for Dhaka this season. Is it true?

_Rafi_
September 22, 2010, 02:23 PM
^ I read somewhere that Rakibul will play for Dhaka this season. Is it true?

yes, Roxy will play for Dhaka.

_Rafi_
September 22, 2010, 02:26 PM
Nice read! Asif is the man to watch. Barisal also needs to sort out their batting problem. Their bowling is ok.

Nadim
September 22, 2010, 02:28 PM
Thanks Isam bro! GD read.

Looking forward to see how Asif Perform :waiting: Also Kamrul Hossain Rabbi & Sajedul Islam. Both can be very handy in near future.

uss01
September 22, 2010, 03:58 PM
They should hold auctions for these players like they did for the t-20 competition.
BTW Isam, are you the same as the Daily Star Isam?

FagunerAgun
September 22, 2010, 05:10 PM
Another good article.

cricket_pagol
September 22, 2010, 05:16 PM
Nice article!

Holden
September 22, 2010, 07:54 PM
Can someone explain to me what the change in selection policy is, i.e. what did it used to be and what is it now, thanks

Zeeshan
September 22, 2010, 08:57 PM
Good to have you here among us Isam bro! =)

al-Sagar
September 22, 2010, 10:12 PM
ROCK, who comes from jamalpur will represent DHAKA this season ...

i am looking forward to see Asif and Sajedul .....

also does hannan and shafaq-al-jabir has anything left to revive their career

Tiger444
September 22, 2010, 10:18 PM
ROCK, who comes from jamalpur will represent DHAKA this season ...

i am looking forward to see Asif and Sajedul .....

also does hannan and shafaq-al-jabir has anything left to revive their career

Its really strange how Rock will play for Dhaka even though he's from Jamalpur..thats why we need more teams..or like somebody said here do it like a franchise system and let teams draft the players

Naimul_Hd
September 22, 2010, 10:31 PM
Dnt worry mor Barishailla brothers and sisters. We may seem to be a weak side on papers but i have strong feelings that they will do justice to their talents.

GO_ BARISHAILLA _GO !!! :D :flag:

Isam
September 23, 2010, 12:59 AM
Can someone explain to me what the change in selection policy is, i.e. what did it used to be and what is it now, thanks

the national selectors (Rafiqul Alam, Akram Khan, etc) used to select teams for the divisions. Now the Divisional Sporting Association are doing the selection.

Habib
September 23, 2010, 09:54 AM
Its really strange how Rock will play for Dhaka even though he's from Jamalpur..thats why we need more teams..or like somebody said here do it like a franchise system and let teams draft the players

What's the problem? Jamalpur is in Dhaka division anyway.

Tiger444
September 23, 2010, 10:07 AM
What's the problem? Jamalpur is in Dhaka division anyway.

Oh Ok didnt know that..thanks for clearing it up..