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Old November 24, 2010, 05:43 PM
MohammedC MohammedC is offline
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Abahani seek to regain title

Atif Azam
Abahani Limited, who missed out on their fourth consecutive Dhaka Premier League title last season, will be seeking to revive their fortune when they start their campaign this season.
Abahani were extremely unlucky not to have won the league for a record fourth time in a row as they went down to arch-rivals Mohammedan SC in the last match. Mohammedan skipper Khaled Mashud struck a boundary in the last ball to take his side home and lift their first league title in eight years.
The defeat not only cost Abahani the record, but also took them to third position. Abahani held their former skipper Sakib al Hasan responsible for the tragedy as they thought his field placing in the decisive final ball was inappropriate.
An insulted and disheartened Sakib left the club this season for Mohammedan, but Abahani remained confident that they can do without him. In total they lost six players to other sides during the transfers but added nine players to bolster the squad.
Apart from Sakib, Abahani lost Shubhashish Roy and Muktar Ali to Mohammedan, Nasir Hossain to Gazi Tank Cricketers, Arafat Sunny to Kalabagan KC and Nadif Chowdhury to newcomers Prime Doleshwar.
Masud Iqbal Mamun, the cricket operations manager of Abahani, is hopeful that their departures would not affect the club.
‘We have got quality replacements in every department,’ Mamun told New Age.
The apparent replacement for Sakib is Mahmudullah, who played the key role in Mohamme-dan’s win against Abahani with a brilliant half-century in the last game. Abahani also prised Marshal Ayub and Saqlain Sajib from Mohammedan to add some variety to their spin attack.
Tapash Baishya and Hannan Sarker joined them from Surjo Tarun while all-rounder Farhad Hossain joined from Gazi Tanks. Abul Hossain of Old DOHS and promising under-19 players Anamul Haq and Alauddin Babu were added to the squad.
‘We have a very balanced side and I hope it is good enough to win the championship,’ said coach Khaled Mahmud, who spurned the BCB job to join the club. Mahmud, however, underlined the necessity of signing quality foreign players.
‘The foreign recruits would be very vital. We need an experienced player who could be used as a third seamer,’ he said.
Veteran Mohammad Rafique and Mahmudullah will lead their spin attack and Saqlain is there to provide them the back-up. Mashrafee bin Murtaza and Tapash will remain at the forefront of their pace attack.
Imrul Kayes along
with Rony Talukder, Marshal, Farhad, Anamul and wicketkeeper Sahgir Hossain will provide the backbone to their batting line-up.

S q u a d
Rony Talukder, Imrul Kayes, Hannan Sarker, Marshal Ayub, Farhad Hossain, Sahgir Hossain, Anamul Haq, Mahmudullah, Mashrafee bin Mortuza, Mohammad Rafique, Saqlain Sajib, Tapash Baishya, Alauddin Babu and Abul Hossain.
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