Sakib set for rare NCL outingStaff Correspondent
All-rounder Sakib al Hasan is all set to return to the country’s lone first class tournament, the National Cricket League (longer version), after a gap of four years when it resume on November 2.
Sakib is expected to play for Khulna Division against Rangpur Division when they meet in the second round at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium, a venue where he had incidentally played his last match of the tournament in December 2008 against Dhaka.
Sakib, who made his debut in the 2004-05 season against Rajshahi Division, could not continue to participate in the competition due to his international commitments, injury and involvement in foreign leagues.
The all-rounder, who came back from South Africa last week having completed his assignment in the Champions League Twenty20 tournament for Kolkata Knight Riders, was also uncertain this season.
Khulna did not pick him in their original 15-man squad as they had no clue if he will be available or not. But Sakib gave them a pleasant surprise when he opted against taking a break before the West Indies series and decided to play the match, which will be his first longer-version match in a year.
The divisional team’s officials are understandably delighted to have Sakib, who joined practice on Wednesday, among them.
‘Sakib will play the next match for us against Rangpur,’ said Mustafizur Rahman, manager of Khulna on Wednesday.
‘This is naturally a big moment for the young players of the team as he is regarded as an international star. His presence boosted the other members of the team,’ said Mustafiz.
Sakib rarely played in the NCL in his career as he appeared only in 12 matches in eight years and scored 881 runs at an average of 44.05. His total included three centuries and six half-centuries, with the highest 129 runs coming against Dhaka in his last match of the tournament, where he also picked up the man of the match award.
Surprisingly Sakib is as successful with the ball as his bat picking up only 27 wickets at 32.51 apiece with the best figure of 6-79 coming against Sylhet Division in their own den back in 2004-05 in his debut season.
Left-arm spinner Murad Khan is likely to make way for Sakib in the Khulna squad, which will be led by left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak. Khulna won their first match against Barisal to share the lead in the points table jointly with Dhaka.
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