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Old November 24, 2010, 05:43 PM
MohammedC MohammedC is offline
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Biman aim to end
title drought
Azad Majumder
Biman Bangladesh Airlines, the traditional powerhouse of local cricket, are aiming to end their long trophy drought when they will play in the upcoming Dhaka Premier Cricket League.
Runners-up to Abahani and Mohammedan SC respectively in two of the last three seasons, Biman last won the coveted title in 1999-2000 when a bizarre format of 80-over league was held.
The last decade was dominated by Old DOHS and Abahani, but Biman still maintained their status as strong challengers for the title and the club officials and players said this time it will not be any exception.
Despite many chopping and changing in the other sides, Biman almost retained their last year’s team that had staged a remarkable comeback in the super league after three consecutive defeats almost ruined their campaign.
Only Mehrab Hossain Jr (Old DOHS), Tareq Aziz (Mohammedan) and Imran Ahmed (Prime Doleshwar) have left the club, but Biman officials said it won’t affect them much.
Biman have added just two players – all-rounder Dollar Mahmud from Mohammedan and Monwar Hossain from Khelaghar – to their squad. They will bolster the pace attack, led by Shafiul Islam and Talha Jubair.
Skipper Sanuar Hossain also has enough confidence in spinners duo Elias Sunny and Mosharraf Rubel, though they are not as good as a few others spinners of the rival sides.
Sunny, who recently showed his all-round quality in the NCL final for Dhaka, is providing Sanuar the best hopes.
‘He was the highest wicket-taker along with Suhash [Shafiul] and I am sure he will maintain the form this time,’ said Sanuar, who is leading the club for the last seven years and has a big say in the team selection unlike the captains of the other sides.
Batting is, however, a concern for Sanuar despite the presence of Jahirul Islam and Mushfiqur Rahim. Sanuar hoped that with the arrival of their foreign players they will be able to overcome the problem.
One big headache for Biman is, however, getting quality foreign players, said Sanuar.
‘The World Cup cricket is barely two months away and at this stage no big player wants to leave home. They want to be in the eyes of the selectors which made it really difficult for us,’ he said.
Biman last year fielded Sri Lankan Jehan Mubarak but this year he is not interested for the same reason. Indian players are also unavailable for the ongoing Ranji Trophy, making the Pakistani players an obvious choice for them.
‘We are in touch with a few Pakistani players. But I can’t tell the names as none gave us any firm commitment,’ Sanuar said.

S q u a d
Abhishek Mitra, Jahirul Islam, Tushar Imran, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sharifullah, Elias Sunny, Mosharraf Rubel, Dollar Mahmud, Shafiul Islam, Talha Jubair, Monwar Hossain, Sanuar Hossain, Hasanuzzaman, Sazzad Kadir, Shariful Haque, Niaz Murshed and Mushfiqur Rahim.
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