Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ICL Bangladesh off to India

The Habibul Bashar-led cricketers left the capital yesterday to play the rebel Indian Cricket League World Series that starts from November 23.

The second tournament of the competition's second season will see Bashar's men, who previously former Dhaka Warriors, as ICL Bangladesh and they will be pitted against ICL India, Pakistan and World XI.

The series of matches begin with the Indian side taking on arch-rivals Pakistan XI, no doubt made up of the entire Lahore Badshahs line-up, in the opener in Ahmedabad.

ICL Bangladesh begin their campaign against the strong World XI on November 25. They play against Pakistan and India on November 27 and 28 respectively. All matches will be held under lights.

The fourteen rebel cricketers took part in the breakaway tournament as Dhaka Warriors and were subsequently banned for ten years by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) in October.

They produced a mixed bag of results, winning half of their eight matches. They narrowly missed a spot in the semifinals as they finished fifth.

But there was individual success, with Alok Kapali hitting the first ICL century and finishing with 324 runs from eight outings, fourth highest in the tournament.

Veteran left-armer Mohammad Rafique finished with 14 wickets with a best of 3 for 28.

Before their departure, Bashar's men faced reporters at the Zia International Airport and expressed hopes of being in the final.

"The players are in high spirits and we are dreaming of playing in the final," said the former national captain.

The support they received so far have inspired them a lot and would spur them on in the World Series, the former Bangladesh captain added.

Habibul Bashar (captain), Shahriar Nafees (vice-captain), Nazimuddin, Aftab Ahmed, Alok Kapali, Dhiman Ghosh, Forhad Reza, Dhiman Ghosh, Mahbubul Karim, Monjurul Islam, Mohammad Rafique, Mohammad Sharif, Mosharraf Hossain, Tapash Baisya.

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