The management of Gazi did everything they could to assemble a side, which included not only Sakib, one of the finest all-rounders in the world, but a few other national stalwarts considered to be match-winners.
The squad have the flair and experience and on top of that a desire unmatched in domestic cricket which made them worthy contenders in a league having with so many challengers.
The opening pair of Tamim Iqbal and Junaed Siddique can destroy any side on their given day and Jahirul Islam Omi, who will probably bat at one-down position, also has the capacity to play big innings.
Gazi’s middle-order also has enough depth with the likes of Sakib, Alok Kapali, Faisal Hossain and Nazmul Hossain Milon and Mohammad Sharifullah. The management of Gazi has the reputation of bringing top-quality foreigners and if they can to do this again it will add some more flair to the line-up.
With a player of the calibre of Mosharraf Hossain Rubel, Gazi’s lower-order also can cause a major headache to the opponents. The spin attack will be led by Sakib, who will be joined by Mosharraf and Naeem Islam Jr.
When Sakib will be away on national duty they can be handy for any opponents. The bowling of Kapali and Faisal can prove to be a bonus.
Rubel Hossain did well enough in the last season to prove his worth as match-winning pace bowler and he will lead their pace attack. Nazmul Hossain and Mohammad Shahid will shoulder the responsibility in his absence.
If there is any serious weakness Gazi have that is their wicket-keeping, where they were unable confirm the services of their first choice Nurul Hasan. Nurul was barred from transfer after he had also accepted the money from Prime Bank Cricket Academy.
Gazi roped in Mohammad Shahin to make up for the loss, though in the eyes of many keen observers the player is well past his prime. Jahirul is, however, there to provide the back-up service.
‘Our first target is to defend the championship,’ said Sakib, who has joined the side after lot of drama behind the scene. ‘We will try our level best to give it a best shot. Everyone in the team has the ability but we have to translate it on the field.
‘Our batting is our biggest strength as there are some players with an excellent track record in domestic cricket,’ said Sakib.
The all-rounder added that he is also looking forward to changing his tag as an under-achiever in domestic circuit as he often failed to justify his billing as top cricketer.
‘I try to give my best every time when I participate in the league,’ said Sakib. ‘I will try to give as much as I can. Still I am yet to perform according to the expectations.’
Gazi are yet to name their coach for the season, though it was initially reported that former assistant coach of the national team Mohammad Salahuddin will take over the charge.
Salahuddin backed out from the initial agreement, leaving Gazi still without any coach. It was learnt that Gazi are now eying the services of former national skipper Aminul Islam, who is currently living in Australia
Squad: Sakib al Hasan (captain) , Tamim Iqbal, Faisal Hossain, Nazmul Hossain Milon, Junaed Siddique, Mohammad Sharifullah, Altaf Kamal Sudho, Mohammad Shahin (wk), Rubel Hossain, Alok Kapali, Naeem Islam Jr, Mosharraf Hossain, Jahirul Islam, Nazmul Hossain, Mohammad Shahid, Riazul Islam.
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