Dubai: Bangla Tigers, through meticulous planning, will aim to create waves in their first appearance in the Abu Dhabi T10, which will be held from November 14 to 24 at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. This new franchise team, who are aiming to have the backing of the over one million Bangladeshi nationals that live and work in the UAE, officially launched their team through a function held at the Swissotel Al Ghurair.
Yasin Chowdhury, a businessman and a cricket enthusiast who owns the team, revealed how he planned his strategy starting with the team formation. “We have carefully picked good players and a look at our team will reveal that there are no retired players and the squad is made up of current players who are performing brilliantly around the globe,” he said. “We also did not go for a renowned super stars as our coach like other teams. We choose Aftab Ahmed as our head coach because he has coached my club team to the top in Bangladesh domestic cricket. He was instrumental in Bangaldesh’s first triumph over Australia by even hitting the last ball for a six. He was a hard-hitter and knows what is needed to win T10. We also appointed Nafis Iqbal, the elder brother of Bangladeshi Test Opener Tamim Iqbal as manager.”
Although Bangladesh national team players are not in the squad owing to the India-Bangladesh series being held at the same time, Chowdhury said: “We have Thisara Perera as our icon player. We will announce our captain soon and we have a super balanced team made up of Andre Fletcher and Colin Ingram, who were top performers in the last edition here. They will be backed by excellent limited-overs stars like Rilee Rossouw, Liam Plunkett, Robbie Frylinck, David Wiese and Shehan Jayasurya. From the UAE we picked one of the most promising cricketers in Chirag Suri, plus Qais Ahmed and Mohammed Abul Hashem.”
Sirajuddin Alamgir, co-owner of the Tigers, is on a mission to attract Bangladeshi to the Zayed Cricket Stadium as over 50,000 businesses are owned by Non-Resident Bangladeshi (NRB) entrepreneurs across the seven emirates. “We are conducting a number of roadshows in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and in Ras Al Khaimah to attract the one million Bangladeshis living here,” he said. “This team is not owned by us. This team is owned by all the Bangladeshis. So as an owner, every Bangladeshi living in UAE has huge responsibility of making our journey a success.”