Shakib Al Hasan talks on BPL, Dhaka Gladiators and more
By Nazmus Saquib
On 14 January, the most expensive player of this season’s BPL (Bangladesh Premier League) – Shakib Al Hasan returned to the field after his long hiatus from cricket due to injury. After this practice session with his team Dhaka Gladiators, the star all-rounder had a brief chat with the reporters. Excerpts follow:
How was the first practice session of Dhaka Gladiators?
We are still to have the full squad; it was only the locals who practiced today. It was more like a get together and a little of warm-up. Hopefully the practice will be more serious from tomorrow as all will be checking-in the team hotel tonight (14 January) and we have the foreign cricketers and head-coach joining us tomorrow (15 January).
The teams are getting only two or three days to practice before the tournament starts. Do you think it was good for your preparation?
I think except me, all the other members of the team were consistently playing matches, so I don’t think it won’t be much of a problem for them. And I have been practicing personally for few days now, so I feel it shouldn’t be a much of a problem.
What about your injury?
To be honest with you, I think I am not yet 100 percent fit however hopefully I will recover within the first two matches.
How much helpful do you think BPL will be to the players before the national team tours Sri Lanka in March?
It is tough to comment on this but I think BPL helped us in the Asia Cup. So if the local cricketers can manage to perform, I am sure this will help.
Do you think the second edition of BPL has less international stars?
I don’t think there is much of a difference in spite of the absence of Chris Gayle. And at the same time I think we have many local stars in the team as well.
What is your expectation with Dhaka Gladiators?
I am a professional cricketer so I will always try to give my best for any side that I play. I have never thought of what Dhaka is expecting rather I have in my mind that I will need to contribute for the team in the best way possible.
Do you think it would have been better to have practice matches before the tournament?
We probably have one practice match against Rangpur Riders on 16 January. It will help me a lot if the match takes place.
Do you think the negatives about the BPL will affect the players?
I haven’t been following the news for few days now so I have a very little idea of what’s happening. The only thing I have in mind is that I am in the Dhaka team and I will be playing for them.
What should be expected from Dhaka Gladiators this year?
As Dhaka is the defending champions, so it’s natural that all will expect us to retain the title. I find the team combination to be very good but we will need to perform on field and if we can perform to our potentials, the team will surely get good results.
Do you think irregular payments will affect the players’ performance?
It should never affect but I feel that it will hurt them, which is a normal thing to happen. There is nothing much to say on this as we (players) all have suffered. Getting the full payment will always make us feel better as we try to give our 100 percent no matter which team we are playing for. But this can never be the reason that few will get the payment and few will not. I feel that there should be more concrete rules when it comes to paying the players so that the players are not ill-treated.
Photo Courtesy: Le Reve