বৃহস্পতিবার, ১ অক্টোবর, ২০০৯

SAFF C'ship from Dec 4


The 6th SAFF Championship will be held in Dhaka from December 4 to 14, SAFF general secretary Sirajul Islam Bachchu disclosed at the BFF House yesterday. “The championship was initially slotted for Decem-ber 2-12, but with the consent from the member countries we have deferred it by two days because of the Eid-Ul-Azha [the second highest religious festival of Muslim community],” said Bachchu at a crowded press briefing where BFF president Kazi Salahuddin was also present.Salahuddin was actually the man behind bringing the biggest football festival of this region to Bangladesh for the second time after India relinquished its right host the meet following visa complications. The Indian government has stopped issuing visas to any Pakistan player, also a part of the eight-nation meet, following the Mumbai terrorist attack last year. “Bangladesh is lucky to host the SAFF Champion-ship for the second time,” said the SAFF general secretary, adding that the draw ceremony will take place on Saturday. Bangladesh won a two-way battle against Nepal to host the meet and Salahuddin is set to take the SAFF presidency on Saturday when the third SAFF congress takes place at Hotel Sheraton after the draw ceremony.A dynamic Salahuddin is the popular choice to take the hot seat from All Nepal Football Federation president Ganesh Thapa, who has been criticized for being inactive since taking over the SAFF presidency in 2001.“We promised to keep football in the field for 10 months in a year. We are now in a situation to believe that we can do it. And I just want to say that the awarding of the championship is recognition from other SAFF nation of our wholehearted effort,” said Salahuddin. “Now it our responsibility to make the championship a success so that in future we can ask the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) that we are capable of hosting even bigger international tournaments.” Salahuddin also said that Bangladesh would be playing for the top position though the result in the last meet was not good.“Our target is to become number one though we finished seventh out of eight nations in the last meet. However, the players of the national team, who had practiced off-season under the head coach, looked quite fit and have been playing better in the ongoing Federation Cup so we can expect a good result from them in the SAFF Championship,” said Salahuddin. BFF senior vice president Salam Murshedi, vice presidents Sawkat Ali Khan Jahangir, Kazi Nabil Ahmed, general secretary Al Musabbir Sadi, members Harunur Rashid, Golam Rabbani Helal and Shafiqul Islam were among others present.

বুধবার, ৩০ সেপ্টেম্বর, ২০০৯

Tamim calls for spirit


Almost all the excitement of the inter-club cricketers transfer was virtually buried much before the start of the official bourse after all the big clubs ensured their targeted players. However there was no shortage of enthusiasm among the supporters on the second day of the transfer when title contenders Mohammedan SC turned up yesterday to complete their formalities at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.Mohammedan, who have remained crownless since their last Premier League triumph in 2001, put on a huge show yesterday in the stadium arena as hundreds of supporters followed the horsecabs that carried star cricketers likes Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Ashraful, Mahmudullah Riyad, Aftab Ahmed, Khaled Mashud and others."Once I would expect such scenario especially the way Mohammedan have brought us in the stadium for the players' registration and the dream has come true," said left-handed opener Tamim Iqbal, for whom Mohammedan had earlier staged a drama to snatch the specialist batsman from the grip of their archrivals Abahani.Mohammedan, in a bid to put an end to their seven-year crown drought, have formed a fine side on paper after having signed up 10 new players as well as retaining the services of five old guards. But Tamim stressed the need for a hundred percent effort from the players and stressed the need for spirit that was in the Abahani camp during his last year there."It is impossible to achieve success until all players perform together, even you form a strongest side on paper and the key of the success is team spirit what I saw in Abahani during my stay there," said Tamim adding that it was possible to emerge champions this season. Tamim believed that Abahani, Gazi Tank Cricketers, Surjo Torun and Biman also formed good sides and Mohammedan would have to play better cricket against every side on way to their target.Captain Khaled Mashud Pilot, who had the experience to lead Abahani and Victoria to the title triumph, believed that Mohammedan had earlier had some lacking, but this time they formed a balanced team and now need the efforts from the players."If the cricketers can play their own game, the success will come automatically," Mashud said, "I had earlier seen the Mohammedan players could not perform well according to their merit, and this time I will share my experience with each of the players to bring the best from them."Hard-hitter Aftab Ahmed was much more happy to return to the mainstream cricket after his one-year exile to the ICC un-approved Indian Cricket League (ICL)."I forgot everything of the past year after having practiced with the Mohammedan team today (Wednesday) and it seems to me that I was not out of the domestic cricket. To be honest, I feel really better after a long time, " said Aftab Ahmed.He was also determined to return to the national fold. "I know it very well what will I have to do and if I can perform well, it will not be hard to secure a place of the national team." Mohammedan have signed up ten new players. They are Tamim, Ashraful, Mashud, Riyad, Imtiaz Khan, Nabil Samad, Raihan Uddin Arafat, Saqlaine Sajib and Shahajada Hossain.Surjo Torun signed up three players including national pacer Mahbubul Alam Robin on the second day with captain Habibul Bashar and Dhiman Ghosh accompanying the three cricketers."I would try to retain the results what the club achieved last season though it would be challenging," said Bashar, who is all set to captain Surjo Torun this year. Dhiman Ghosh, who was once mired in controversy amidst his comments during joining the ICL, said that he was now feeling remorse for his comments and that he was determined to return to the national fold through good performance.Besides, Old DOHS roped in 13 players and Victoria recruited nine players on the second day bourse.

মঙ্গলবার, ২৯ সেপ্টেম্বর, ২০০৯

Rahmatganj shine on return


Citycell Federation Cup09

Thankfully the rain that loomed large stayed away and the Citycell Federation Cup resumed after a 14-day break under brilliant sunshine at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. With the heavyweight still holidaying it was a day that belong to the lightweights. Rahmatganj Muslim Friends Society, better known as a boggy of big teams, were back to business with a 3-1 thrashing of Chittagong Mohammedan Sporting Club. The victory of the old town outfit by a margin that they had scripted in their first game against Arambagh brightened their chances of playing the quarterfinals of the season's curtain-raiser from Group B.In the other match at the same venue newcomers Shukhtara Jubo Sangsad of Narayanganj tasted first victory when they handed Arambagh a 2-1 defeat. The defeat certainly served a deadly blow for Arambagh coach Wazed Gazi, who promised a lot on his return to his former club but after two defeats in a row faces early eliminating from the competition.In the day's second match, Rahmatganj's Ghanaian recruit Raphael Sagno, Ugandan Idris Kasirye and local boy Mamun put their names in the score sheet while Akber Hossain Ridon struck the consolation goal for the losers. Rahmatganj's coach Mir Mohammad Faruque employed five defenders like he did in the first game against Arambagh. But the defence had little to do in a match where Rahmatganj were in a rampant mood with their African striking duo of Idris and Raphael in full fury.The margin could have been bigger had not Chittagong Mohammedan goalkeeper Uttam Borua made some brilliant saves.Rahmatganj created huge pressure in the first 15 minutes and went close to taking the lead thrice, but Uttam denied them twice while Mamun drove miles off the target from a vantage position.Uttam's resistance was finally broken when Idris nodded a Raphael header home inside the eight-yard box in the 29th minute and seven minutes later Raphael doubled the margin against his former club with a soft touch after being freed by Choumrin Rakhine.Chittagong Mohammedan rarely threatened the Rahmatganj territory. Ridon, who struck twice against Shukhtara, however pulled one back five minutes before the break with a spectacular shot from the top of the box. Rahmatganj made the contest all but over when Mamun struck the third from a rebound five minutes into the second half after a Raphael header came off the sidebar.Chittagong staged a late rally but after a Farhad header rattled the crossbar and goalkeeper Himel saved a close-range shot from substitute Kamrul Islam Pavel a defeat was written in the wall.Rahmatganj now need a draw in their last match against Shukhtara Jubo Sangsad to advance in the knockout stage. In the day's first match, Mehdi Hasan Tapu gave Shukhtara an 18th minute lead but their joy lasted only eight minutes as veteran striker Alfaz Ahmed, capitalizing on a terrible defensive error, blasted home the equalizer. After the resumption, Saiful Islam Khokon sealed the fate of the match with a spectacular side volley.

সোমবার, ২৮ সেপ্টেম্বর, ২০০৯

Transfer market opens today

Old foes Mohammedan and Abahani are all set to complete their registration formalities after having confirmed the services of their targeted players as the much-talked inter-club cricketers' transfers get underway at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.
Holders Abahani brought in a heat wave in the market after signing up superstars Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and Shakib Al Hasan with record deals of Tk 20 lakh each, long before the start of the three-day official transfers, that subsequently brought archrivals Mohammedan in the bourse.
Mohammedan apparently woke up from the slumber to snatch sensational opener Tamim Iqbal from the Abahani tent and singed up Mohammad Ashraful and the officials of Mohammedan also declared that the duo would not get less payment than Mashrafe and Shakib.
Meanwhile, when the two giants were busy flexing their muscles, new powerhouse Gazi Tank Cricketers were apparently engaged in strengthening their line-up to challenge the perennial dominance of Abahani and Mohammedan.
The club officials this time have showed huge interest in batting specialists, all-rounder and the ICL-returned players and did not hesitate to offer lucrative payment to them. But they did not show any interest in the national team pacers, who struggled to get a good team.
Abahani, who are bidding for the fourth successive prestigious Dhaka Premier League title, have already confirmed Mashrafe, Shakib and Imrul Kayes from the national pool. Besides, the Dhanmondi-based side roped in pacers Robiul Islam and Mukthar Ali and retained the services of Rony Talukdar, Nasir Hossain, Sahagir Hossain and Shubhasis Roy.
They also have so far retained the services of opener Mahbubul Karim and left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique. The duo missed the last season due to their commitment in the ICC un-approved ICL (Indian Cricket League).
Mohammedan, who remained crownless for the last seven years since their last victory in 2001, have built the strongest side on paper after confirming the three pool players -- Tamim, Ashraful and Mahmudullah Riyad.
Besides, the Motijheel-based outfit so far confirmed Shamsur Rahman, Marshall Ayub, Khaled Mashud, Nabil Samad, Mohammad Shahzada, Delwar Hossain, Saqlain Sajib, Foysal Hossain and ICL-returnee Aftab Ahmed. Sri Lankan cricketer Farveez Maharoof is supposed to play for the traditional powerhouse.
Nevertheless, the title race will not be limited only between Abahani and Mohammedan as Gazi Tank appear the real threat for the two traditional rivals.
Gazi Tank also completed their pool quota by securing left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak, Naeem Islam and Nazmul Hossain, but their major strength is believed to be ICL-returned Shahriar Nafees, Alok Kapali, Nazimuddin and Forhad Reza.
Besides, Gazi Tank so far confirmed the services of Mohammad Mithun, Farhad Hossain, Suhrawardi Shuvo, Ziaur Rahman, Nadimuddin Mintu, Raihan Anas. The club's coordinator Rakib Haider Pavel said they were also expecting the services Pakistani cricketer Abdul Razzak from the very beginning of the league.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines have lost much of their players, but they still have some quality players, who can be a serious threat for the title contenders.
Mushfiqur Rahim, Mehrab Hossain Junior, Tushar Imran, Jahirul Islam, Mosharraf Hossain Rubel, Tareq Aziz, Talha Jubair, Sharifullah and Ellias Sunny are among the notable players.
National players -- Roqibul Hasan and Enamul Haq Junior -- are all set to join Kalabagan KC after pacer Shahadat Hossain signed for Kalabagan in a special transfer window that was arranged for the Bangladesh A team players. Kalabagan also so far roped in Nazmus Sadat, Rasel al Mamun, Javed Omar, Golam Mabud, Ariful Haque, Shafaq Al Jabir and Murad Khan.
Syed Rasel is to play for Cricket Coaching School while Dollar Mahmud and Rubel Hossain are supposed to play for Old DOHS.
National opener Junaed Siddique, pacer Mahbubul Alam Robin along with Habibul Bashar, Hannan Sarkar, Rajin Saleh, Dhiman Ghosh, Tapash Baishya, Imtiaz Hossain and Monjurul Islam would play for the Surjo Tarun.

MSC members' demand


Some 50 to 60 members of Mohammedan Sporting Club have requested the convenor of the club's ad-hoc committee to extend the deadline for depositing money to become members of Mohammedan Limited.After the annual general meeting in May, the members of the club were asked to pay Tk one lakh each by September to get a permanent membership of Mohammedan Limited. Besides, a 48-member ad-hoc committee headed by Mosaddek Ali Falu was formed to run the regular activities of the club.However, it was learnt that many members of the ad-hoc committee have yet to pay the money and sought a two-to-four weeks extension of the submission date.Member-secretary of the committee Lokman Hossain Bhuiyan admitted some members requested them to push back the deadline.

BCB, Siddons talk contract


After agreeing in principle to extend the tenure of head coach Jamie Siddons in the second week of this month, the Bangladesh Cricket Board yesterday held an informal meeting with coach Jamie Siddons over the terms of his new contract.The Australian coach was given an extension up till the 2011 ICC World Cup in the subcontinent after he replaced his compatriot Dav Whatmore two years ago.Siddons returned to Bangladesh on Thursday last after undergoing a successful skin cancer surgery in Australia. The Bangladesh head coach flew to Australia from Zimbabwe in August to diagnose his skin cancer following Bangladesh's 4-1 ODIs series triumph in Zimbabwe. Eyanet Hossain Siraj, the chairman of the BCB cricket operations committee, however, said that he just had a friendly chat with Siddons. "It was just an informal meeting with him (Siddons) and we heard about his physical condition after the surgery. Besides as the chairman of the cricket operations committee, I wanted to congratulate him following Bangladesh's brilliant results in West Indies and Zimbabwe. It was not possible before because he wasn't in the country at that time.” Siraj said that they would later fix a date to discuss about the terms and conditions of the new contract and asked the coach to let them know about the contract if he had any observation. The BCB directors said that the coach expressed his satisfaction over the extension of his job till the next World Cup. The meeting also discussed about Bangladesh's preparation ahead of the home series against Zimbabwe, England and the tri-nation tournament next year. "We discussed about Bangladesh's future itineraries," said Siraj adding that Siddons had no reservation with the appointment of former captain Khaled Mahmud as his assistant.It was reported that the coach did not take the move cordially, as the BCB did not discuss the matter with him previously.“He has no reservation with Mahmud. He told me that the appointment of Mahmud would help him," said Siraj.The BCB official said Siddons had some observation over his new deal, which he will forward to the cricket operations committee in due manner for further discussion.

রবিবার, ২৭ সেপ্টেম্বর, ২০০৯

Boat race celebrates the deity in Magura


A traditional boat race was held on September 26 on the river Kumar on the occasion of Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Bengali Hindu community. Tengakhali Puja Celebration Committee of Magura sadar upazila organised the event. Eight teams from four upazilas of Magura and neighbouring Rajbari district participated in the competition.A boat from Boroichara, under Shalikha upazila of Magura, named 'Mayer Ashirbad' bagged the first prize, while another from Potora village under Baliakandi upazila of Rajbari district, named 'Doyal Moti' secured the second position. 'Moyur Pankhi,' from Gopalpur village, under Sreepur upazila, earned the third prize.Chairman of Bangladesh Red Crescent Society and local lawmaker Dr. Mohammad Serajul Akbar was the chief guest at the competition. Special guests were the DC (Deputy Commissioner) of Magura, Mohammad Dilwar Bakht; additional Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Tarikul Alam, Magura sadar upazila parishad chairman Abu Nasir Bablu and Senior Assistant Commissioner Abdulla-hel-Baki. The guests gave away the prizes among the winners of the competition.Thousands of people, including women and children, thronged the venue and enjoyed the traditional event.