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No regrets over the move, say Bangla boys

cricket Updated: Oct 06, 2008 23:34 IST
Anam Arsalan
Anam Arsalan
Hindustan Times
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Cricket administrators may pass a scathing remark on the Indian Cricket League's (ICL) lure, but not many are aware that the competition is gradually becoming a viable option for foreign players who are frustrated with the state of affairs in their countries or are looking for some adventure.

That is just the case with Bangladesh cricketers who have joined the league. HT spoke to Habibul Bashar, Shahriar Nafees and Dhiman Ghosh to get an insight into their reasons behind the move.

"As a professional player I have the right to join any league I want to," said Nafees, who was attracted by the "idea of playing in a new environment with a completely different setup with loads of international stars".

Besides, he added, "The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) had no policy at that time which stated that players associated with ICL can't play in or for the country. The ban came after we moved here. I am disappointed, but I still respect their decision."

Interestingly, money was not a factor, which influenced his decision. "I come from a well established and respected family in Dhaka, so money was just not a factor which influenced my decision."

So while Nafees is out to seek adventure, Ghosh valued job security and the appeal to play freely without being bogged down with pressure to perform.

"I wasn't a regular member of the side, so ICL was the next best option for me. Here I would be able to play to my style. I knew that even if I performed badly in some matches I would not be dropped at a short notice," said Ghosh.

But for former Bangladesh skipper and Dhaka Warriors captain, Bashar, things were getting worse by the day.

"After playing for more than a decade, I was refused the central contract. For seven months I was doing nothing and waiting for a call from the selectors. But none of that happened.

"It was just that the ICL officials came to me with an offer and the squad they had in mind for Dhaka Warriors, struck a chord with me. I realised that I would be leading a team consisting of boys I had led in the past, so that got me hooked."

But if the motive behind the move was to prolong his career, what made him choose ICL over the Indian Premier League. "To be honest, I didn't get an offer from them last season and was not expecting it this time either," he said.