Khulna Titans captain and icon player Mahmudullah aims to start the BPL T20 5 tournament on a high note when they face defending champion Dhaka Dynamites Sunday in Sylhet.
"It is always important to start well in a tournament because it gives you good momentum. We have to play our first match against top favourite Dhaka. A good start is obviously important for us. We want to start the tournament well by winning the first two matches in the Sylhet phase of the fixture,” said Mahmudullah after their practice session at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium Friday.
Khulna made their BPL debut last season and in their first year, they reached the elimination stage of the tournament with some brilliant performances. Khulna have signed some exciting players in T20 cricket for this year’s campaign like Rilee Rossouw, Kyle Abbott, Seekkuge Prasanna, Shehan Jayasuriya, Shadab Khan, Jofra Archer, Chadwick Walton, Carlos Brathwaite, Benny Howell, Akila Dananjaya and Michael Klinger. The captain believes this year’s team is more balanced compared to last season and said they have to work hard to perform in BPL 5.
“We have a more balanced team compared to last year. We have some big players. But only big names can't win a game for you. You have to perform well in the middle and work hard. It's hard to perform consistently in T20 cricket. We have to work hard for that and we are confident that we will play well in the tournament,” said Mahmudullah.
“Last year’s performance will boost our confidence but past is past. We have to play well again. We are trying to improve ourselves. We are very delighted to work with a coach like Mahela Jayawardene. He has a tremendous cricketing brain. We hope we can learn a lot of things from him,” he added.
While the right-handed batsman, who was named the most valuable player of the tournament in BPL 4, said Khulna will fight for the championship, he also admitted that it’s a long way road and that the team have to perform consistently in order to achieve a good result.
“Definitely our target is to win the championship. But we can't guarantee that at the moment as we have to play really well. Every game is important for us and we have to think step by step,” the Khulna skipper concluded.
Three foreign Khulna players - Pakistan's Junaid Khan and Shadab and Sri Lanka's Jayasuriya - have not joined the squad yet. According to a team source, both the Pakistan players will join the team on November 18 and Jayasuriya will arrive Wednesday.
The rest of the players underwent practice session under head coach Jayawardene in Sylhet. New recruit Klinger also took part in training.