Published: April 29, 2009
Preparation for the country’s first-ever Twenty20 tournament, “Habib Group-Port city Cricket League (PCL), to start on Saturday next at Chittagong’s MA Aziz Stadium, is now at its finishing stage.
The eight participating teams and organisers are equally caught up in an enthusiastic mood to set up everything. Besides the stadium arena wore a festive look too.
The draw held yesterday afternoon to decide the teams’ grouping surprised many as Group A appears stronger with the three popular clubs Chittagong Mohammedan Sporting (MSC), Chittagong Abahani and Chittagong Brothers Union being pitted together along with Top Sports Club of Noakhali DSA.
Group B consists of Ispahani Sports Club, Dada Warriors (a team of MEB Group), Dhaka Sports (Laxmipur) and the Pirates of Chittagong (team of shipping company Continental Group).
Divisional Commissioner and President of Chittagong Divisional Krira Sangstha (CDKS), which is organising the PCL, Organising Committee Chairman AZM Nasiruddin, CDKS General Secretary Sirajuddin Md Alamgir and Vice President Ali Abbas conducted the open lottery for deciding the grouping of the teams.
“It seems that the A Group is much stronger but we have nothing to do with it since it’s been decided on lottery in presence of all concerned. But we believe, the teams of other group doesn’t stand that much chance,” Sirajuddin Alamgir, also an executive member of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), told The Daily Star yesterday afternoon.
Meanwhile, six teams have so far confirmed foreign recruits of which five have completed their foreign recruits till filing of this report yesterday, according to team sources.
The teams are Chittagong MSC, Abahani, Dada Warriors, Brothers Union, Pirates of Chittagong and Ispahani SC.
MSC booked two Pakistani brothers Kaiser & Nayar Abbas. The former is a national discard while the latter plays for the Pakistan U-19′s. Both arrived in Chittagong yesterday morning and participated in the practice session in the afternoon with other team members.
Dada Warriors officials also confirmed the names of two Pakistani players including Saeed Anwar jnr. who played for Surjo Tarun in Dhaka League, and Kashef Navid.
On the other hand, Chittagong Abahani and Brothers roped in Sri Lankan duo’s. Samara Silva and Frank Dimuth Madhushantha Karunaratne signed for the former while national team stars Jeehan Mubarak and Chamara Kapugedara will sign on for Brothers, who already look the best team on paper.
Besides the Sri Lanka duo Brothers also have Mehrab Hossain jnr., Abdur Razzak, Nafees Iqbal, Tusher Imran and Dollar Mahmud.
The Pirates of Chittagong kept faith on two Pakistani all-rounders, Noman Ullah and Waqas Ahmed while Ispahani SC hired Jiban Mendis, a left hand batsman from Pakistan and Munir Ahmed Dar, a left-arm all-rounder from Hong Kong.