Mashrafee retained as Gladiators skipperStaff Correspondent
Holders Dhaka Gladiators have retained paceman Mashrafee bin Murtaza as their captain for the second edition of the Bangladesh Premier League, it was announced on Monday.
Gladiators chose him ahead of their highest paid player of the season Sakib al Hasan as Mashrafee had successfully led them to the championship in the inaugural edition despite his injury worry.
‘Mashrafee will be our captain for the upcoming edition,’ Salim Chowdhury, chairman of the franchise, told reporters while unveiling the team’s jersey and mascot at a city hotel.
‘We want to retain our winning combination as much as possible.’
Mashrafee was excited to get the responsibility and said that he is looking forward to the cash-rich tournament as he believes that the team is much stronger than before.
‘I feel the team is much stronger and balanced than before as we have a bunch of in-form players in our side,’ said Mashrafee.
‘Sakib was added to Ashraful, Bijoy [Anamul Haque] and other foreign recruits that gave us plenty of depth,’ he said, though he was cautious about getting complacent.
‘No matter how balanced your team is you have to perform on the day to get success as things change pretty fast in this format,’ said Mashrafee.
‘Last year we started to play to our potential only from the semi-final but we would like to get that start from the very beginning this time,’ he added.
Sakib, who fetched $365,000 at the auction, the highest by any player, echoed the same sentiment and wanted to focus on getting the momentum that he said, will play a vital role in this sort of competition.
‘Momentum is important in this sort of competition and the earlier a team starts to have it the better,’ said the country’s leading all-rounder. ‘I will try to give my hundred per cent and hope to contribute for the team.’
He admitted to feeling the pressure in playing for the champions but did not agree that leaving his home side Khulna will have an effect on him.
‘I admit there is an additional pressure but I am confident that I will be able to overcome it and I am looking forward to enjoying the tournament.
‘For the first time I am playing for a team other than Khulna, but I don’t think that will be a problem as everyone is professional,’ said Sakib.
Sakib revealed that playing in the BPL is much more comfortable than playing in the Indian Premier League.
‘In the IPL you have to do everything on your own whereas in the BPL there are others to help you out,’ said Sakib.
Several members of the franchise and their sponsors were present on the occasion along with few of their players – Mohammad Ashraful, Mahbubul Alam, Anamul Haque, Mosharraf Hossain and Liton Das.
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