Inside Ground

BPL 2022: Comilla Victorians ready to snatch third title


The eighth edition of Bangladesh Premier League is being played in a few days. In the second part of a series of reports on the six teams participating in the eighth edition, today we will talk about the Comilla Victorians.

In the eighth edition of BPL, many teams have appeared under new names under new ownership. The exception was Comilla Victorians. The team is going to take part in the upcoming edition of BPL under the old owner. Comilla, which has a record of winning the title twice in the BPL, wants to keep the title at home again. And for that purpose, Comilla Victorians have formed a balanced team. Nafisa Kamal, the owner of the franchise, has already stated that they are happy with the formation of the team. They will take the field to win the title.

The auction of the eighth edition of BPL was completed on Monday (December 27). Comilla Victorians have surprised everyone by including three popular foreign players in their team from outside the auction. Looking at the entire squad of Comilla after the auction yesterday, it was easy to guess that the success of the team will depend on the foreign cricketers. Sunil Narine, a popular cricketer of T20 format, was included in the Comilla team from outside the auction. Comilla also took star cricketer Faf du Plessis and English cricketer Moin Ali. There is a lot of demand for Narine, Du Plessis and Moin Ali in any franchise league in T20 format. Depending on these three cricketers, Comilla will want to win the title for the third time.

In the Players' Draft which ended yesterday, the team picked up Bangladesh national team wicketkeeper batsman Liton Das for the first time. In the second call of the first set, pacer Shahidul Islam was selected from the 'C' category. After that Comilla included Imrul Kayes in their team. Kayes has fond memories of winning the title in Comilla jersey even before that. Among the foreign cricketers selected from the draft are Sri Lanka's Kushal Mendis and West Indies fast bowler Ocean Thomas. Comilla Victorians also fielded Bangladesh Test captain Mominul Haque at the very end of the Players' Draft.

Analyzing the team, it is seen that this time the bowling lineup of Comilla team is quite strong. They are ahead of any other team by dincluding Sunil Narine, a very effective bowler in T20 cricket. The star cricketer will be the main head of the spin department. Comilla will be led by pace bowler Mostafizur Rahman. Comilla bowling will depend a lot on the performance of these two. Besides, the team will be looking at Ocean Thomas, Moin Ali and Abu Haider Rony. If two bowlers can consistently perform well in the T20 format, the team will benefit. In that case, if Mostafiz and Narine can perform to the best of their ability throughout the tournament, then Comilla will have nothing to worry about their bowling department.

Comilla is not as advanced in bowling as in batting. Faf du Plessis is the team's mainstay in batting. If he burns with the bat, he can stand in panic for any opponent. Moreover, the team has confidence in Liton Das of the national team. The team also has high hopes for Imrul Kayes, who is highly experienced.

It remains to be seen whether the three-star foreign cricketer will be able to win Comilla the title for the third time.

Comilla Victorians squad at a glance –

Mustafizur Rahman, Faf du Plessis, Moin Ali, Sunil Narine, Liton Das, Shahidul Islam, Imrul Kayes, Tanvir Islam, Kushal Mendis, Ocean Thomas, Ariful Haque, Nahidul Islam, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Sumon Khan, Muminul Haque, Mahidul Islam, Parvez Hossain Emon, Abu Haider Rony, Mehedi Hasan.


Inside Ground

Ben Stokes engages in verbal duel with Harsha Bhogle over Deepti Sharma's run out

Publish: 12:26 PM, 02 Oct, 2022


England all-rounder Ben Stokes has called out veteran commentator Harsha Bhogle after the popular sports presenter lashed out at English media for castigating Indian all-rounder Deepti Sharma following her controversial run-out. Deepti was quick to punish Charlie Dean for backing up too far at the non-striker's end in the 3rd One Day International (ODI) of the bilateral series between India and England at the Lord's Cricket Stadium.

Deepti's legal run-out of England batter Dean sparked a massive 'spirit of the game' debate in the cricket spectrum. After several cricket luminaries shared their views over the run-out controversy, popular commentator Bhogle penned a lengthy note and slammed the English media for criticising Deepti's clever dismissal following India's monumental win over England.

"It is a cultural thing. The English thought it was wrong to do so & because they ruled over a large part of the cricket world, they told everyone it was wrong. The colonial domination was so powerful that few questioned it," Bhogle said in his viral Twitter thread. Taking cognisance of Bhogle's remarks against the English media, veteran all-rounder Stokes opted to lash out at the veteran Indian commentator in a series of tweets.

"Harsha .. 2019 WC final was over 2 years ago, I still till this day receive countless messages calling me all sorts from Indian fans, does this disturb you? (sic)," Stokes tweeted.

Earlier, Stokes dropped a noteworthy reaction on Twitter after the star all-rounder was mentioned in several viral tweets. For the unversed, internet warriors had opted to draw a comparison between Deepti's run-out and Stokes' bat- deflection incident in the 2019 World Cup final against New Zealand. "Why are people comparing a ball deflecting of my bat to a mankad," Stokes tweeted.

- Hindustan Times


Inside Ground

129 dead in Indonesian soccer match stampede

Publish: 09:22 AM, 02 Oct, 2022


Panic at an Indonesian soccer match after police fired tear gas to stop brawls left 129 dead, mostly trampled to death, police said Sunday.

Several fights between supporters of the two rival soccer teams were reported inside the Kanjuruhan Stadium in East Java province's Malang city after the Indonesian Premier League game ended with Persebaya Surabaya beating Arema Malang 3-2.

The brawls that broke out just after the game ended late night Saturday prompted riot police to fire tear gas, which caused panic among supporters, said East Java Police Chief Nico Afinta.

Hundreds of people ran to an exit gate in an effort to avoid the tear gas. Some suffocated in the chaos and others were trampled, killing 34 almost instantly.

More than 300 were rushed to nearby hospitals to treat injuries but many died on the way and during a treatment, Afinta said.

He said the death toll is likely still increasing, since many of about 180 injured victims' conditions were deteriorating.


Indonesian   Soccer   Stampede  


Inside Ground

Tigresses optimistic for a winning start to Asia Cup

Publish: 02:57 PM, 30 Sep, 2022


The Bangladesh Women's Cricket team vowed to make a winning start in a bid to defend the Asia Cup title as they take on Thailand Saturday at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium Ground- 2.

The match starts at 9 AM. spectators will enjoy a free entrance to the stadium.

The tournament was supposed to be held in 2020 but the outbreak of the Covid-19 hampered the progress. A total of seven Asian countries are participating in this tournament this time.

The Tigresses who won the Asia Cup in 2018 for the first time, beating mighty India in last ball thriller in Malaysia knew that the tag of defending champions is itself a reassure.

But they are keen to defend the title as theconfidence stemmed from being unbeaten champions in T20 Qualifiers a few days back.

Bangladesh in fact became hat-trick champions in T20 Qualifiers of late, beating Ireland in the final.

The Tigresses will be further boosted by pacer Jahanara Alam who missed the Qualifiers due to injury. Also Fargana Hoque Pinky returned to the fold after0 recovering from Covid-19.

Tigresses captain Nigar Sultana Joty said they now want to focus solely on Asia Cup.

 "Since we'll be playing at home, we indeed feel no pressure and put ourselves ahead. I think the biggest motivation is that we have qualified for the World Cup, which is motivating the whole team," Joty said here today.

Like the other time, India who had recently won their first bilateral series on England soil will be Bangladesh's main contender. But Joty said all of the participating teams improved their game a lot so there's no point to think just one team as the main contender.

"Every team here is strong enough and they actually are playing really well cricket. We have to give everyone equal importance and play well against all of them."

"But we are confident of retaining the title because we are playing at home and the team is in a good stead."

All the matches of the tournament will be held in Sylhet. 9 out of 24 matches will be played at Outer Cricket Stadium in Sylhet. The remaining 15 matches will be played at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium. The seven participating teams will face each other in the T20 format tournament. The curtain will come down on October 15 with the finals of the Women's Asia Cup.

Bangladesh women's team did not lose a single match in the T2o World Cup Qualifiers. Therefore, Joty thinks that there is no better preparation for the Asia Cup.

"I would say it was the best preparation for us, because there is no better preparation than playing match. Since we have been playing in this format, it will help us a lot in the Asia Cup. We are playing together and we got team combination right in the Asia Cup, if we can play as a team, I think there will be a good result in the Asia Cup."

Squad: Nigar Sultana Joty (Captain), Shamima Sultana, Fargana Hoque Pinky, Rumana Ahmed, Mst Ritu Moni, Lata Mondol, Salma Khatun, Sobhana Mostary, Nahida Akter, Murshida Khatun, Jahanara Alam, Fahima Khatun, Mst Shanjida Akther Maghla, Mst Fariha Islam Trisna, Shohaly Akter

Stand by: Marufa Akther, Most. Sharmin Akter Supta, Nuzhat Tasnia, Rabeya

Sports   Asia CUp   Women's Cricket   Cricket   Tigresses  


Inside Ground

Iran president says Amini's death is 'tragic incident', but 'chaos' unacceptable

Publish: 09:38 AM, 29 Sep, 2022


Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Wednesday said that the death of a young woman in custody had "saddened" everyone in the Islamic Republic, but warned that "chaos" would not be accepted amid spreading violent protests over Mahsa Amini's death.

Amini's death two weeks ago has sparked anti-government protests across Iran, with protesters often calling for the end of the Islamic clerical establishment's more than four decades in power.

"We all are saddened by this tragic incident ... [However] Chaos is unacceptable," Raisi said in an interview with state TV, while protests continued around the country.

"The government's red line is our people's security ... One cannot allow people to disturb the peace of society through riots."

Despite a growing death toll and a fierce crackdown by security forces using tear gas, clubs, and in some cases, live ammunition, social media videos showed Iranians persisting with protests, chanting "Death to the dictator".

Still, a collapse of the Islamic Republic seems remote in the near term since its leaders are determined not to show the kind of weakness they believe sealed the fate of the US-backed Shah in 1979, a senior Iranian official told Reuters.

Angry demonstrations have spread to over 80 cities nationwide since the Sept. 13 death of 22-year-old Amini, after she was arrested for "unsuitable attire" by the morality police who enforce the Islamic Republic's strict dress code.

Amini, who was from the northwestern Kurdish city of Saqez, died in hospital after falling into a coma, sparking the first big show of dissent on Iran's streets since authorities crushed protests against a rise in gasoline prices in 2019.

Raisi, who had ordered an investigation into Amini's death, said "forensics will present report on her death in the coming days".

Although Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has yet to comment on the protests, a hardline watchdog body called on the judiciary "to deal decisively with the main perpetrators and those responsible for killing and injuring innocent people and security forces."

Khamenei appoints six senior clerics of the 12-member body, known as the Guardian Council.

Growing support

State media said 41 people, including members of the police and a pro-government militia, have died during the protests. Iranian human rights groups have reported a higher toll.

Raisi backed Iran's security forces, saying "they sacrifice their lives to secure the country".

Dozens of Iranian celebrities, soccer players and artists - inside and outside the country - have backed the demonstrations. Iran's hardline judiciary said it will press charges against them, according to state media.

"Whoever participated and ignited the chaos and riots will be held to account," warned Raisi, while adding that "no one should be afraid to express their views".

Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday they fired missiles and drones at militant targets in the Kurdish region of neighbouring northern Iraq, where an official said nine people were killed. read more

Iranian authorities have accused armed Iranian Kurdish dissidents of igniting the unrest, particularly in the northwest which is home to most of Iran's more than 10 million Kurds.

Washington condemned the attack, calling it "an unjustified violation of Iraqi sovereignty and territorial integrity." read more

Early on Wednesday, a video showed protesters in Tehran chanting "Mullahs get lost!" "Death to the dictator!" and "Death to the leader (Khamenei) because of all these years of crime!"

Reuters could not verify the authenticity of videos on social media.

Rights groups have reported the arrest of hundreds of people, including human rights defenders, lawyers, civil society activists and at least 18 journalists.

Amini's death has drawn widespread international condemnation. Iran has blamed Kurdish dissidents for the unrest as well as what it called "thugs" linked to "foreign enemies."

Tehran has accused the United States and some European countries of using the unrest to try to destabilise the Islamic Republic.

- Reuters

Amini's death   Iran  


Inside Ground

Bashundhara Group to felicitate SAFF Champion Bangladesh women team

Publish: 08:14 PM, 21 Sep, 2022


Bangladesh Women football team has made an epoch-making history winning the SAFF Championship title for the first time.

Bashundhara Group, the largest business conglomerate of the country, has already announced to host a felicitation programme in the next month. A total of 13 footballers among 14 played in the final match are the players of Bashundhara Kings.

Bashundhara Kings President Imrul Hassan on Tuesday said Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan, who has been patronising the country’s sports for a long time, took the decision to honour the players.

He said, “Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan has decided to accord a reception to our women’s team next month for clinching the SAFF Championship,”

Bashundhara Group has long been playing a vital role in the development of the country’s football with an aim to revive its lost glory. Apart from football, they have also been working to promote domestic cricket, hockey, golf and other sports.

He said, "As per the instructions of the Bashundhara Group Chairman, we have formed Bashundhara Kings in men's football. Similarly, under his instructions, we participated in the women's league. He believed that girls must be kept in the field for overall development. Playing one or two matches after a long hiatus will not ensure any development. Bashundhara Kings is taking part in the Women's League with giving importance to his words. Not just the title, our goal is development.”

Imrul said, “Bashundhara Kings' roadmap has given some inspiration to the girls. See, 15 out of the 23 players in the SAFF national team are Bashundhara Kings’ players. And in the final, 13 out of the 14 playing in the best eleven were from the Kings. We are giving these players big salary, high quality training and facilities. Money is a big factor in motivation. If you are free from financial hardship, you can play freely. Bashundhara Kings, under the initiative of Bashundhara Group, have given and will give all kinds of supports for the betterment of sports. So, I can say with pride that Bashundhara Kings played a role in winning the title of Bangladesh.”

The president of Kings also said, "The Chairman Sir (Ahmed Akbar Sobhan) believes that the girls will continue their success.”

“Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan will be present in the programme. Earlier, we welcomed the U-19 women's SAFF champion Bangladesh team. Bashundhara Group is working and will continue to work for the development of women's football. Now, others must come forward. With everyone's efforts, we can dream big. “

A total of 16 Kings footballers - skipper Sabina Khatun, Rupna Chakma, Masura Parvin, Akhi Khatun, Sheuli Azim, Shamsunnahar (Sr), Nilufa Yesmin Nila, Anai Mogini, Maria Manda, Monika Chakma, Shamsunnahar (Jr), Ritu Porna Chakma, Sanjida Akhter, Krishna Rani Sarkar, Sirat Jahan Shopna and Tohura Khatun -  were part of the 23-member Bangladesh team that clinched the SAFF Championship.

Bangladesh   SAFF   Bashundhara Group   SAFF Champion   Bangladesh