Focus on WC spots as Super League begins

Arch-rivals Mohammedan Sporting Club will take on table-toppers Abahani Limited at Fatullah in one of the three matches of Dhaka Premier Division Cricket’s super league that is beginning at three different venues today.Prime Bank will take on Legends of Rupganj at BKSP while Prime Dholeshwar will start their campaign against Kalabagan Cricket Academy at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in the other two matches.The super league is even more important for the national selectors as they are yet to name 15-member squad for the World Cup and should be keeping a close eye on the performance of some individuals.Mohammedan skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza said he is looking forward to the occasion as he believes it is the perfect platform for some of his team-mates to make the final attempt on making the World Cup claim.While some spots in Bangladesh’s World Cup squad are confirmed, Dhaka Premier Division’s super league phase gives the other players a chance to push for the remaining spots.‘Naturally it is important as it would provide some of the players to grab the remaining spots apart from the confirmed spots,’ Mashrafee told New Age.

‘I think doing well will be extremely important for the confirmed players as well, as it will give them some confidence before World Cup,’ said Mashrafee.One of the added incentives for the players in the super league will be the return of Kookaburra ball that will replace SG ball used in the first phase.‘The SG balls were not suitable for premier division cricket,’ observed pace bowler Al Amin of Abahani.‘We will go to Australia where the ball is expected to rise but no matter what you do it was impossible to get anything out of it,’ said Al Amin.While seamers had problem, spinners alleged they were not also very comfortable with the SG ball.Bangladesh used SG ball in recent Zimbabwe series but players said the ones that had been used in the league were nowhere near to the same quality.‘It was hard to grip the ball,’ said Enamul Haq Jr of Prime Bank Cricketers.‘The ball lost its shine within five overs making it difficult for us,’ said Enamul.‘Look at Taijul [Islam], he failed to live up to the expectations as it was hard for him to bowl with this ball,’ he added.DPL co-coordinator of Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis Amin Khan informed that they will change the ball.As the two traditional power houses have become more of a friend than rivals these days, a fiery rivalry is only expected in the match between Prime Bank and defending champions Legends on the opening day of the super league.Legends, who were trailing Prime Bank and Abahani by four points in the table, suffered a blow when their star opener Tamim Iqbal was ruled out of the entire phase due to a knee injury.Prime could miss the service of wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan as Legends claimed court has imposed an injunction on the player over a payment dispute.