Players glad with T20 opportunity
Amber Victory Day T20 begins todayStaff Correspondent
The cricketers are happy to get the opportunity of putting some competitive cricket under their belt ahead of the forthcoming ICC World Twenty20 2014 as the curtains of the Amber Victory Day T20 tournament will be raised today.
Abahani Limited will face United Commercial Bank in the opening game at 1:00pm while Mohammedan Sporting Club Limited will take on Prime Bank Cricket Club at 5:00pm. Both the games will be held at the Sylhet Divisional Stadium.
Members of the four teams reached Sylhet on Saturday to participate in the tournament that was awarded official T20 status (List A) by the Bangladesh Cricket Board.
The BCB hurriedly took the initiative of launching this competition as it will allow the cricketers some much-needed match practise in the shortest format of the game which is still an area of concern for the Tigers.
The tournament was preceded by the recently concluded T20 Challenge Series that was played between the Bangladesh national team and the Bangladesh A side.
Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal, who will lead UCB, expressed his satisfaction with the set-up of the T20 tournament before going on to say that it will improve his match fitness after recently making a comeback from a lower abdominal injury.
‘Any cricket game is fruitful so the initiative taken by the BCB is surely welcomed,’ said Tamim.
‘This will surely test the character of each cricketer. It will help us to show our ability in this format and the tournament will also enable us to hone our T20 skills.
‘Perhaps it might take a game or two to get me rolling as I am returning after a certain break but I am confident about doing well,’ he added.
Mohammedan skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza echoed the same sentiment.
‘It is pleasing to have this competition as we did not have any matches to play at the moment,’ said Mashrafee.
‘It is always better to play matches that expose your shortcomings providing you with the opportunity to work on them,’ he added.
Abahani captain Mushfiqur Rahim was also satisfied with the staging of the tournament ahead of some international commitments that also include the upcoming tour by Sri Lanka in January-February and the Asia Cup in February-March.
‘As there will be no BPL [Bangladesh Premier League] this time, there would have definitely been a gap in match practise. Certainly, this tournament will help us to erase our lacking. It will also aid our preparations for some international tournaments ahead,’ said Mushfiq.
Sakib al Hasan, who is set to captain the Prime Bank side, is also on the comeback trail like Tamim after missing the one-day international series against New Zealand in October-November due to dengue fever.
The BCB announced cash rewards for the T20 competition that include Tk 20 lakh for the winners and Tk 10 lakh for the runners up side. The player of the tournament will receive Tk one lakh.
Abahani Limited v UCB BCB XI at SDS, 1:00pm
Prime Bank Cricket Club v Mohammedan Sporting Club
at SDS, 5:00pm
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