Tamim inspires Mathews to join BrothersStaff Correspondent
Sri Lanka’s Test and ODI captain Angelo Mathews admitted to reporters on Friday that Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal was one of the reasons behind his decision to take part in the Dhaka Premier League this season.
Primarily through the efforts of Tamim, Brothers Union acquired the services of Mathews for the most prestigious limited-over competition of the country.
Chosen as Sri Lanka’s youngest Test captain at the age of 25, Mathews will make his bow in the DPL 2013 on Sunday against Gazi Tank Cricketers.
Previously, Mathews and Tamim were team-mates at Pune Warriors in the Indian Premier League in 2012 and 2013.
‘Tamim was one of the reasons behind my decision to come here. When I heard that Tamim will play for Brothers, their [Brothers] offer seemed to me the best one. We have also played together in the IPL,’ said Mathews at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
‘I talked with another club but it didn’t really progress,’ he added.
A good number of Sri Lankan players are plying their trade for different DPL clubs this season, including all-rounder Tillakaratne Dilshan, opening batsman Upul Tharanga and Mathews’ team-mate at Brothers – off-spinner Sachitra Senanayake.
This has led to suggestions in the local media that if this season’s DPL were to be renamed the Lanka-Bangla League, it will not be out of place.
‘You [media] can call it the Lanka-Bangla League [laughs]. I also talked about it with Dilshan the other day,’ said Mathews.
‘But really, I have heard about the Dhaka League before. Sanath Jayasuriya and Arjuna Ranatunga had played in the competition. The Lankan cricketers have a special liking for the Dhaka League,’ he added.
When asked to compare the premier Sri Lankan domestic limited-over competition with the Dhaka Premier League, Mathews refused to name one over the other saying that both were competitive in their own right.
‘I have just arrived so it’s too early to say anything. Besides the Lankan cricketers, many other cricketers from other countries have played in the Dhaka League. On top of that, all the Bangladeshi star cricketers are also playing,’ said the 26-year-old Sri Lankan skipper.
‘I hope everyone’s participation will brighten the Dhaka League’s prospects. The Sri Lankan League is also competitive. Even though the Dhaka League is not too different to Sri Lanka’s, each league has its own specialities,’ he added.
All-rounder Mathews, dangerously potent with both bat and ball who is famous for his game-changing exploits, also sang praises of Bangladesh cricket and went on to say that a bright future lay ahead for the newest Test nation.
‘Cricket is very popular in Bangladesh. Young players are coming up and performing well in international cricket. The youngsters are playing according to a goal set by themselves and the Bangladesh cricket team have also been successful recently,’ he said.
‘Facilities here are also readily available. All in all, Bangladesh cricket is heading towards a bright and promising future,’ he added.
Sri Lanka Cricket has been going through financial problems for a while now so Mathews was glad he was not questioned regarding this matter before ending the media briefing.
‘Thank you all, more so for not asking me anything other than the Dhaka League,’ said a candid Mathews with a smile.
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