Ashok Menaria praised the quality of cricket on show in the DPL and said he is pleased to have contributed to his team’s successes
Khelaghar Samaj Kalyan Samity have emerged as the surprise package in the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League 2017-18 season as they entered the super six stage in the country’s List A competition after some strong performances.
Khelaghar concluded their group stage campaign with seven wins in 11 outings to finish third in the 12-team points table, ahead of renowned names in the domestic cricket arena like Mohammedan Sporting Club Limited, Prime Bank Cricket Club, Gazi Group Cricketers and Prime Doleshwar Sporting Club, among others.
Khelaghar players played as a unit throughout the tournament, and displayed competitive cricket to pull off some close wins. The credit however, should also go to Indian recruit Ashok Menaria, the Khelaghar all-rounder, who is in red-hot form. He currently leads the chart of the highest run-scorers after 11 matches.
Menaria has scored 570 runs in 11 innings at a superb average of 81.42. The left-hander smashed six half-centuries and one century in his 11 knocks, playing a few superb unbeaten innings when his side chased in some crucial matches.
He captained the India U-19 side at the 2010 World Cup. His impressive run in the domestic circuit earned him an Indian Premier League T20 contract from Rajasthan Royals in 2011, for whom he played until 2013. This is Menaria’s third season in the DPL and the Indian all-rounder, born in Rajasthan, stated that the Dhaka League is as competitive as the Indian domestic tournaments.
The left-hander praised the quality of cricket on show in the DPL and said he is pleased to have contributed to his team’s successes.
“As a batsman I am feeling good that I am scoring runs for my team. It’s great whenever you score runs in any competitive competition. And this tournament is important for me in other aspects as well. I am now out of my state team, Rajasthan. Some people believe I am not suitable enough for T20 or ODI format. So it is a challenge for me to score runs in a different league. I am happy I have scored a few. It is very good for my rhythm and cricketing career. And the league is not over yet. I want to score more runs for my team in the DPL,” said Menaria to Dhaka Tribune Thursday.
Menaria informed that the wickets are not that easy for the batsmen and that the batters have to play sensibly in order to score big here. That’s why his purple touch is all the more significant as he is facing the challenge of regaining his spot in his state team through his DPL performances.
“Wicket seems flat here, but the fact is wicket is not that easy. It’s not easy to score runs here, particularly for a player like me who has come from another country. I have talked with Yusuf Pathan (Prime Bank) and Parvez Rasool (Legends of Rupganj) who are also playing in the DPL. And they also said scoring is not that easy. So scoring runs and sitting at the top of the batsmen’s chart after the group stage is pleasing for me personally. But the league is not over yet. Super six stage will be more challenging and I am looking to scoring more runs for my team,” Menaria explained.
The all-rounder also praised the team effort of Khelaghar, and hoped that their good form will continue in the super six stage.
“I am really impressed with the Khelaghar team. The bond among players is very good on and off the field. Captain Nafees Iqbal is doing a fantastic job. He is injured unfortunately, but he has a lot of input in the team. Obviously, since he has played Test cricket and ODI cricket for Bangladesh, he is very experienced. And he has been playing in the DPL for a long time now. So he knows about the tournament well, and the opponents. The players and coaching staffs are also really good. Hopefully our good run will continue in the super six stage,” Menaria concluded.
Khelaghar will take on Doleshwar in their opening super six match Saturday at Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Cricket Stadium in Fatullah.
Top 5 run-scorers after 11 matches in DPL 2017-18
|(Khelaghar Samaj Kallyan Samity)|
|(Legends of Rupganj)|
|(Legends of Rupganj)|
|(Prime Bank Cricket Club)|
***statistics from ESPN Cricinfo