Saifuddin is a genuine asset in the T20 format with his all-round ability and in hindsight it might prove that Rajshahi actually made a clever move
Minister Group Rajshahi made a surprise choice in their first call of the Bangabandhu T20 Cup players’ draft as they did not opt for any category A player.
When Rajshahi’s turn came, Mahmudullah was still available as the other four teams picked the four category A players.
But instead of Mahmudullah, Rajshahi picked all-rounder Saifuddin from category B as their first choice in the draft.
Although it may surprise a few people initially, Saifuddin is a genuine asset in the T20 format with his all-round ability and in hindsight it might prove that Rajshahi actually made a clever move.
Saifuddin, the right-arm seamer and left-handed batsman, has become a useful all-rounder over the years in the shorter formats for the national and other teams.
He can open the bowling in the shortest format and is also very handy with his explosive batting in the lower middle-order.
Rajshahi perhaps overweighed the value of an ambidextrous player over a big name.
Rajshahi made another bold call by picking Mohammad Ashraful.
The veteran right-handed batsman was not picked for the recently concluded BCB President’s Cup, but for the upcoming T20 tournament he gets his chance.
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Ashraful passed the fitness test and scored the desired 11 on beep test arranged by Bangladesh Cricket Board just prior to the draft.
Passing the fitness test at late stage of his domestic career still shows his desire to play at the top level of domestic cricket.
And now Ashraful, who last lost 13kgs in the last two months while doing fitness work, has the chance to prove himself if he wants to be considered for the national team in T20s.
Experienced all-rounder Farhad Reza was also picked by Rajshahi perhaps for his good T20 form in the last two seasons in franchise-based Bangladesh Premier League.
Inclusion of Nazmul Hossain Shanto at the top of the order will give Rajshahi good support as the left-hander played well in T20s in recent past.
Overall, Rajshahi made a balanced squad by picking regular performers from the first-class level such as Nurul Hasan, Rony Talukdar, Arafat Sunny and Jaker Ali.
Rajshahi may not have many star-studded names in their squad but they can produce good results with their balanced squad in the tournament.
Rajshahi will play the first match against Beximco Dhaka Tuesday afternoon.
Saifuddin, Mahadi Hasan, Nazmul Shanto, Nurul Hasan, Farhad Reza, Mohammad Ashraful, Arafat Sunny, Ebadat Hossain, Fazle Mahmud, Rony Talukdar, Anisul Emon, Rezaur Rahman, Jaker Ali, Rakibul Hasan, Mukidul Mugdho, Sanjamul Islam