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Shakib gets back to business with Bangabandhu T20





Photo: Cricfrenzy

|| Cricfrenzy Correspondent ||

The much anticipated Bangabandhu T20 Cup, a five-team tournament played by leading corporate house of the country, will begin at the Sher-e- Bangla National Stadium from today.

Beximco Dhaka will take on Minister Rajshahi will in the opening game of the tournament while it will be followed by a battle between Gemcon Khulna and Fortune Barishal.

Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, commonly known as the ‘Home of Cricket’ for Bangladesh is gradually coming back to life after a long enforced sabbatical with the Bangabandhu Twenty20 Cup knocking at the door following the success of BCB President’s Cup.

BCB in October through hosting the BCB President’s Cup marked the return of on-field cricket in a bio-secure environment but only a limited number of cricketers got to participate.

In Bangabandhu Twenty20 Cup a total of 80 cricketers divided into five teams will take part in a near one-month long tournament, which is set to begin on Tuesday.

Title contender Beximco Dhaka’s skipper Mushfiqur Rahim feels that he have got the right kind of balance to take the team far in the tournament.

‘’I am excited to be part of Beximco Dhaka in the first T20 tournament of the year and want to start and end the tournament on a high and I feel we have the right balance to go far in the tournament,’’ said Mushfiqur.

Minister Group Rajshahi had a major blow on Sunday as their first pick from the players’ draft Mohammad Saifuddin twisted his ankle while playing football during warm up in the morning and left the field on crutches.

Saifuddin is ruled out from the opening game and their skipper Nazmul Hasan admitted that it was a big blow for them but insisted that they are ready to make their presence felt even without their premier all-rounder.

‘’Naturally he is unavailability is a big blow as he was a key player but at the same time I have full confidence in my side that we have the strength to beat any team on our day,’’ he said.

However, all eyes will be on the second match day as that will mark the entrance of Shakib al Hasan in competitive cricket after more than a year for the ban that he received for not reporting corrupt approaches to the governing body.

Mahmudullah is elated that Shakib will be available in the dressing room and said that he is confident that he will strike form the opening day.

‘’I don’t think there is any question regarding Shakib’s caliber and capability and I feel he won’t take time to perform in the middle,’’ said Mahmudullah.

His counterpart Tamim Iqbal of Fortune Barishal said that it will be a big day for his national teammate but he is aware of the all-rounder's abilities and wanted to curtail his influence on the game.

"I am sure that it will be a big day for him since a year has passed before his return. It's a big day for him and for Bangladesh cricket too as a player of his calibre is returning," Tamim said.

The Barishal captain was however not looking to give his national teammate an inch on his return to action. "I'm certain his fans will be eager to see him. However, as it's a game for me, I will try to ensure he has as little impact as possible on the match (tomorrow).

Tamim however had no doubt that Shakib will become increasingly successful as he starts getting play time. "At the end of the day, I am happy he is returning. I am sure he will go from strength to strength from tomorrow."