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Isam
September 24, 2010, 01:23 PM
Khulna: Star-less but title-contenders
Mohammad Isam

The last time Khulna won the National Cricket League title, they had to beat Barisal in the crucial 10th round game without Habibul Bashar, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Shakib Al Hasan, Abdur Razzak, Tushar Imran and Syed Rasel. All were busy on those days with the national setup.

That was in 2007-08 when Khulna won the first-class competition for the second time. Even in their maiden triumph of 2002-03, Khulna won with few international players in their line-up. The likes of Raju Parvez, Mohammad Salim, and the late Manzarul Islam Rana were the main performers then with a young Abdur Razzak among them. They beat a powerful Dhaka side that was led by Naimur Rahman and included other stalwarts like Jahangir Alam and Mazharul Haque Mridul, in the final.

Playing without top players may have become a habit for them as they head for another NCL campaign next week with only Tushar and Rasel available among Khulna's best.

Sahagir Hossain Pavel, Dollar Mahmud and Robiul Islam will complement the experienced duo but Shakib's all-round skills, Mashrafe's incisive bowling and leadership and Razzak's wiles remain elusive to the southwestern division. Yet, Khulna are confident of going for a third title, which would set them on an equal platform with Rajshahi, another three-time winner.

Wicketkeeper Pavel, who has been a long-time understudy to Mushfiqur Rahim in the national setup, believes that his team is balanced enough to do much better than last season when they finished a disappointing fourth.

"There was some disorder last time but I think we have a more balanced squad this year," said Pavel, who was the team's top-scorer with 428 runs at an average of 50.11.

"We have been practicing quite well this year despite some problems with the facilities. We have been training in the indoor stadium but despite all that, our main target would be to become champions," he added confidently.

It may seem to be bold words but Pavel has every reason to think that way. Apart from himself, Tushar, Rasel, Dollar and Rabiul, Khulna have a blend of youth and experience.

Nazmus Sadat and Mithun Ali are key to a good start as both openers have done pretty well in the last few years. All-rounders Ziaur Rahman, Taposh Ghosh and Fariduddin Masud and spinners Murad Khan and Bishwanath Haldar make up a prolific side by domestic standards. They will probably miss the service of left-hander Amit Mazumder, who would be busy appearing for exams.

But the form of Tushar and Pavel would be the key to Khulna's success.

"I have been the second wicketkeeper for the national team for quite sometime now. In fact it has been almost 4 or 5 years. So I'm determined to do well this season," said Pavel, who is set to bat at number five after Tushar.

"I need to do something extra this year to push for a place in the national team. I think it is possible to do well because I have been training with them for the past few months.

"Tushar played just two games last year so he's also motivated to score runs," added Pavel.

Khulna's bowling clearly looks balanced enough to knock over any team but something has been amiss in the last two seasons when they finished fourth and third respectively.

But according to Pavel, it couldn't be the cricket structure of the region that would be to blame. In fact, they have better players missing out from the campaign as they plan to cut down the 30-man preliminary squad to a final fifteen for the first game. "We have so many players that some are going out to play for other divisions," he said. Club cricket is the life-blood of the divisional team and it is thriving in Satkhira, Bagerhat, Kushtia, Chuadanga, Jessore and Khulna town itself.

They open their campaign against Dhaka at the Shaheed Kamruzzaman Stadium in Rajshahi on September 29.

Last year's position: Fourth.

Strength: Bowling attack.

Player to watch out for: Sahagir Hossain Pavel.

_Rafi_
September 24, 2010, 01:43 PM
Hopefully a breakthrough season for Nazmus Sadat

Habib
September 24, 2010, 02:12 PM
Khulna is gonna win it all. Go Khulna!

mac
September 25, 2010, 06:45 AM
ahare...khulnar fan khub ekta nai mone hoe!

lamisa
September 25, 2010, 07:30 AM
shafiul kon dol e keu bolbe pls?anyways isam bhai,u are going a great job.there is barely anyone else who's covering the domestic season as good as u are.thanks a lot.if the domestic season got as much attention from other newspapers/reporters as u are giving,our domestic cricket would be in a totally different level,i am sure!

Habib
September 25, 2010, 09:38 AM
ahare...khulnar fan khub ekta nai mone hoe!

Arrey na na Khulnar publicra to khub busy thake business niye tai ey forum a post besi korena.Kintu deshe o bideshe Khulnar supporterder kono ovab nai bujchhen? R tachhara Khulna to emnitey jitbe jana kotha.:-)

mac
September 25, 2010, 10:04 AM
shafiul kon dol e keu bolbe pls?anyways isam bhai,u are going a great job.there is barely anyone else who's covering the domestic season as good as u are.thanks a lot.if the domestic season got as much attention from other newspapers/reporters as u are giving,our domestic cricket would be in a totally different level,i am sure!

second that.

mac
September 25, 2010, 10:07 AM
arrey na na khulnar publicra to khub busy thake business niye tai ey forum a post besi korena.kintu deshe o bideshe khulnar supporterder kono ovab nai bujchhen? R tachhara khulna to emnitey jitbe jana kotha.:-)

[বাংলা]এবার ঢাকা, অন্য কেউ পাত্তাও পাবে না। [/বাংলা]

BlindSupporterofBD
September 25, 2010, 11:16 AM
I am with khulna ,, all the way,,,,

Habib
September 25, 2010, 12:13 PM
[বাংলা]এবার ঢাকা, অন্য কেউ পাত্তাও পাবে না। [/বাংলা]

As long as Ashraful is in the Dhaka team, not a chance.

Murad
September 25, 2010, 01:06 PM
shafiul kon dol e keu bolbe pls?anyways isam bhai,u are going a great job.there is barely anyone else who's covering the domestic season as good as u are.thanks a lot.if the domestic season got as much attention from other newspapers/reporters as u are giving,our domestic cricket would be in a totally different level,i am sure!

Shafiul Rajshahir hoye khelbe.

Murad
September 25, 2010, 01:08 PM
Arrey na na Khulnar publicra to khub busy thake business niye tai ey forum a post besi korena.Kintu deshe o bideshe Khulnar supporterder kono ovab nai bujchhen? R tachhara Khulna to emnitey jitbe jana kotha.:-)

Don't be so confident. Last time koto position e chilo mone ache? last position in the 2nd Phase ;)

Isam
September 25, 2010, 01:12 PM
shafiul kon dol e keu bolbe pls?anyways isam bhai,u are going a great job.there is barely anyone else who's covering the domestic season as good as u are.thanks a lot.if the domestic season got as much attention from other newspapers/reporters as u are giving,our domestic cricket would be in a totally different level,i am sure!

hey thanks...appreciate that.

lamisa
September 26, 2010, 05:00 AM
really looking forward to reading the rajshahi preview.i am supporting rajshahi because shafiul plays for rajshahi!!!!!thanks murad bhai for telling me that!

Habib
September 26, 2010, 06:24 AM
Don't be so confident. Last time koto position e chilo mone ache? last position in the 2nd Phase ;)

Ey jonney to eto confident. Karon Khulna ekhon Sundarban er khocha khawa baagh. Other teams are like deer in front of them ;)

czone
September 29, 2010, 07:32 AM
Most probably Taposh Ghosh and Nazmus Sadat will open the innings in the longer version. Taposh was very consistent last year. It will be interesting what the lineup will be if Amit M. is available. For me player(s) to watch in this version would be Taposh and Nazmus Sadat.

Tiger Manc
September 29, 2010, 09:01 AM
It's a shame both Mithun Ali AND Sahagir Hossain are playing for the same team as ideally we need to asses how both perform with both gloves and bat to see who is backup to Mushy. Maybe they can share the duties in diffwerent matches.

al-Sagar
September 29, 2010, 10:26 AM
Most probably Taposh Ghosh and Nazmus Sadat will open the innings in the longer version. Taposh was very consistent last year. It will be interesting what the lineup will be if Amit M. is available. For me player(s) to watch in this version would be Taposh and Nazmus Sadat.

can we still be hopeful with Namus Sadat ???? he always looked to struggle agaisnt the extra pace in the top level

czone
October 1, 2010, 07:08 AM
can we still be hopeful with Namus Sadat ???? he always looked to struggle agaisnt the extra pace in the top level
Sadat actually looks the best in the first 10 overs. Apparently he is uncomfortable or less efficient as the ball gets older and the pace gets slower. Only time will tell, how hopeful we still can be. Obviously the upcoming DPL & NCL are important for him to covince e'body (the fans and the adminstrators). You know funny thing is that even couple of years ago people, along with the Khulna boys used to argu, who is better? Imrul or Sadat?