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August 25, 2013
Abahani relinquished a golden opportunity to sign Shakib Al Hasan and some other top names in Bangladesh cricket, instead focusing on youth. It could yet end up as the smartest move as most of the Bangladesh players will be busy in October, taking on New Zealand at home, coinciding with the business-end of the Dhaka Premier League.
"Our focus is youth this year," said Abahani official and BCB ad-hoc committee member Ismail Haider Mallick. "We didn't go for Shakib and Mahmudullah. We want to pick players who will be fully available during the whole league and not just for a few matches."
Their first pick was Liton Kumar Das, a young wicketkeeper-batsman and it was followed by the likes of young allrounders Alauddin Babu and Taposh Ghosh. There is a sprinkling of experience in the form of Shahriar Nafees, Nazimuddin and left-arm spinner Nabil Samad but the majority of the 14 players they picked are below the age of 25.
Shakib has only played for Abahani in one season, in 2008-09. It ended badly, with the supporters trying to assault him after Abahani lost to arch-rivals Mohammedan by one wicket in the title-deciding game.
Defending champions Victoria Sporting Club also let go of a chance to draft Shakib and Tamim Iqbal, instrumental in their triumph last year. They went for Nasir Hossain, now a player of high demand in the domestic circuit.
The two newly-promoted sides, Khelaghar Samaj Kallyan Samity and Kalabagan Cricket Academy, were lucky to have their share of some senior players. Batsmen Faisal Hossain and Shuvogoto Hom Chowdhury went to Khelaghar while Marshall Ayub, Sahagir Hossain and Talha Jubair went to Kalabagan Cricket Academy.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Mohammad Isam
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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