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.