Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) on Monday handed over the trophies that were pending to the winners of different league competitions over the last 5 years through a program held in front of federation ground in the city.
BFF President Kazi Mohammad Salahuddin and Senior Vice President Abdus Salam Murshedy MP and other federation members and officials were present on the occasion.
The BFF distributed some 23 pending trophies of the Bangladesh Premier League, Championship League, Senior Division League, First Division, 2nd Division and 3rd Division Leagues for the last five years from 2015 to 2019.
Among the 23 trophies, six were for the league champions, eleven for the runners-up, three for the 3rd ranked, two for the 4th ranked and one for the 5th placed team.
Addressing the function, BFF boss Kazi Salahuddin congratulated the champion teams for their feats and hoped they will maintain their brilliant performances in future too.
Bangladesh's left-arm seamer Mustafizur Rahman is eager to represent the Tigers in all three formats of international cricket. The pacer is now busy training ahead of the three-match Test series against Sri Lanka, which is scheduled to start from October 24.
In the last five years since Mustafiz made his international debut, Bangladesh played 29 Tests. Of them, Mustafizur was a part of the Bangladesh team on 13 occasions - less than half. The team's think-tank has always viewed him as a weapon in limited-over cricket, where his appearances have been far more frequent.
Earlier this year, Bangladesh’s head coach Russell Domingo also said that he has no plans to play Mustafiz in the longer format of the game regularly, even as he rather insisted that Mustafiz will be his number one option in the pace-bowling department for the limited-over games.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) selection committee, however, opted to include Mustafizur in the squad for the three-match Test series against Sri Lanka, which may manifest a changed mindset about the left-arm pacer.
“I want to represent Bangladesh in every format of cricket. Currently, I have been working on the things that will help me become a bowler who can perform well in every format,” Mustafizur told the media on Monday after the second day of national team skill training camp.
“I am trying to absorb the art of swinging the ball. Our pace-bowling coach (Ottis Gibson) taught me how I can swing the ball better. He showed me some grips which are very helpful. I have been trying to learn it. I know it will take time. I believe I can do it if I work hard consistently,” Mustafizur added.
Mustafizur grabbed the limelight in his debut series against India in 2015 when he scalped two five-fors in his first two games for the Tigers. He played the pivotal role to win the maiden ODI series over India. Since then, Mustafizur has established himself as an integral part of Bangladesh limited-over team. But he failed to replicate the same performance in the longer format of the game despite taking four wickets in his debut against South Africa in 2015.
The long hiatus forced by the Covid-19 has interrupted Mustafizur’s work towards becoming an all-format bowler. However, he said the Covid-19 hiatus is on the past now and he is working hard to become a better bowler.
“There is a big difference between training at home and training outdoor with the team. All of us have worked more or less during the Covid-19 lockdown. But now, we are more focused as a team, and it always helps to train better when we are a team,” Mustafizur further told the media.
“It was tough to start the practice with the team. At first, I bowled with a shorter run-up. But now I have increased my run-up, and I’m doing well. Everything is going well,” Mustafizur also said to the media.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s Sri Lanka tour is still under a cloud as the health department of Sri Lanka is yet to accept BCB’s proposal of a seven-day quarantine period instead of 14 days, which is mandatory for all who enter the island nation during the pandemic. During the last media interaction about the matter, BCB said they are still hopeful of a positive response from Sri Lanka.
Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Football champions Bashundhara Kings plan to tour the Maldives to play friendly football matches against two leading Maldives clubs—TC Sports and Maziya Sports and Recreation Club —in October.
National star-studded and the formidable foreign footballers based Bashundhara Kings are likely to fly for the Maldives in the middle of October to play friendly matches as a part of their preparation for the country's ensuing domestic football season.
Earlier, the Kings were placed in the four-team Group E of the Asian 2nd tier Club Football Tournament, the AFC Cup, were scheduled to play their five remaining group matches in the Maldives from October 23 to November 4 this year, but they suffered a big blow as the AFC Cup’ has been cancelled in the dying moment on September 10 due to flight restriction following Covid-19 pandemic.
As the apex body of Asian Football, the AFC, cancelled the AFC Cup’2020, featuring all the Group E matches in the Maldives, that make the Bashundhara Kings interested to start their preparation for the country’s domestic season in the Maldives, playing preparatory matches against their two Group E rivals--TC Sports and Maziya SRC of the Maldives,
Bashundhara Kings already brought their three foreign booters--Brazilians Robson Azevedo da Silva, Jonathan da Silveria Fernandes Reis and Argentine Hernan Barcos--in the capital on September 10 to join training camp for the AFC Cup and as well as for the ensuing domestic football season.
However, the country’s new domestic football season is likely to begin with the Federation Cup Football in the first week of December after completing the necessary registration formalities in October-November next.
In a professional football league committee meeting recently, the committee allowed maximum four foreign booters for a team including one from Asia and all the four foreign footballers will be entitled to play together in a match for the team.
Meanwhile, on last Saturday (Sept 19), Bashundhara Kings completed their quota of four foreign booters for the ensuing football season (2020-21) confirming 33 years old Iranian defender Khaled Shafiei in Asian quota.
Khaled Shafiei, who played in the Persian League for Sepahan FC and in the South Korean K-League for FC Seoul, is expected to arrive Dhaka in the first week of October as the club’s 4th and last foreign player as a replacement of their Argentine defender Nicholas Delmonte.
In the AFC Cup, BPL champions Kings was on the top of the four-team Group E after their 5-1 victory over Maldivian club TC Sports in the first match at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka on March 11.
Chennai City FC of India and Maziya S&RC of the Maldives shared the second slot following a 2-2 draw between the two teams played in Chennai, also on March 11.
Bangladesh national cricket team started a week-long residential camp on Sunday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium ahead of the Sri Lanka tour for a three-match Test series which is a part of the ongoing World Test Championship.
The Tigers played their last international game back in March this year. Now, after a long hiatus of 193 days forced by Covid-19, Tigers hit the field again as a team.
Bangladesh team is due to fly for Sri Lanka on September 27. Before that, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is hosting a week-long residential camp at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
The tour, however, still has a cloud over it as the BCB and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) are yet to finalize a quarantine plan for touring Bangladesh team. As per the Sri Lankan regulation, a 14-day quarantine is a must for everyone who enters Sri Lanka aiming to stop the spread of the Covid-19 in the island nation.
BCB has urged SLC to trim the quarantine period to seven days. But the health department of Sri Lanka refused to allow this. However, SLC is still negotiating with its health department to trim the quarantine period. BCB said they are hopeful of a positive response from SLC within the next few days.
“We’re yet to get a response from SLC. But as we understand, this matter is beyond SLC’s control. A special task force oversees the Covid-19 situation in Sri Lanka. If they allow us to tour the country with a shorter quarantine period, they’ll inform SLC and then they’ll tell us about it. We hope to get a positive response from them as soon as possible,” Jalal Younus, the chairman of BCB media and communication committee told the media last week.
BCB has announced a 27-member squad for skill training. Of them, 16 players joined the camp on Sunday. 10 of the remaining players are in isolation with Covid-19 suspicion. They will undergo a Covid-19 test on September 22 with all members of the team.
“It’s good they came to the field as a team after a long time. The time during the lockdown was tough because we were away from game and practice. But we have worked a lot to keep ourselves fit. Now we have started skill training as well which feels good,” Mahmudullah Riyad told the media.
During the lockdown, Mahmudullah shared many video footage on his social media handles where he was seen to work hard to keep his fitness at great shape. He said: “One of the things that I worked more on during the lockdown is my fitness. I tried to take my fitness to the next level. I have followed a guideline which was provided by our physio and trainer. But now, I am working on my skill. I believe that performance is based on both fitness and skill.”
This series was originally scheduled for July-August, but due to the deadly outbreak of Covid-19, the series was rescheduled in October-November. However, the official dates and venues of the matches are yet to be revealed.
Bangladesh played three matches of the World Test Championship and lost all of them. So the Sri Lanka tour, if it happens as planned, will be a big chance for the Tigers to bounce back in the event.
Kazi Salahuddin, gunning for a fourth consecutive term as president of Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF), announced his manifesto Sunday ahead of the election which will take place on October 3.
Salahuddin’s Sammillita Parishad hosted an event on Sunday at a Dhaka hotel to reveal his manifesto and introduce his panel. Most of the members of the last panel of Salahuddin are still with him while many opted out as well.
Salahuddin, the brightest star of the country's football history, became the president of BFF for the first time back in 2008. He also won the election in 2012 and announced that he will do everything to qualify for the World Cup 2022. But halfway through qualification, this looks as unlikely as ever before. He had formed an initiative named “Vision 2022” which has only bitten the dust during the last eight years.
He is yet to face a strong challenger though, and this has hurt the country's football development. This time again, following some withdrawals and late surprises, the election is Salahuddin's to lose, despite an abundance of disappointment over the stalled progress of the game in Bangladesh.
Salahuddin said there was confusion about his Vision 2022. He claimed that he never said that he will work to make sure Bangladesh qualify for Qatar World Cup.
“I think there is confusion among you. I never said that we would qualify for the World Cup in Qatar. We said we would try to qualify. We always have to have a plan along the way,” Salahuddin told the media today.
“We are going to introduce a long-term and sustainable plan for Bangladesh football. If we get elected again, we will take specific actions to improve our position in the world ranking. We will try to become one of the best 150 teams in the world. And at the same time, we will put our best foot forward to make our women's team one of the best 90 teams in the ranking,” Salahuddin added.
When Salahuddin took charge in 2008, Bangladesh was at 180 in the world ranking while they are now at 187. He tried to justify this situation saying: “Look at France- they are the world champion but not at the top of the ranking. Fifa Friendly matches are very important. We had a financial crisis, and so we failed to play many matches.”
In the new manifesto, Salahuddin and his team repeated most of what they had said ahead of the last election. In the last election, there were 25 points in their manifesto. Now they have increased to 36 points.
Salahuddin’s manifesto said they are committing to host Bangabandhu Gold Cup every year and regain the title of SAFF Championship and SA Games. Along with these, they said they are committed to appointing high-profile coaching staff, creating a profile of the players, establishing a regular calendar for domestic events and forming by-laws for the domestic leagues. Salahuddin's panel also said they will arrange all the facilities at least in four venues to host international games.
One of the longest-serving BFF presidents, Salahuddin, claimed to have completed 'at least 75 percent' of their last manifesto’s commitments. “We are sorry that we failed to do the rest of the works. But we are saying now is prepared for three months. We have researched a lot. We cannot take our football forward alone. For this, the players, coaches, officials and sponsors all have to work together."