• Friday, Nov 15, 2019
  • Last Update : 04:08 am

Abahani, Mohammedan do battle in Dhaka derby

  • Published at 09:35 pm March 24th, 2019
DPL
Abahani's Nazmul Hossain Shanto and Mohammedan's Raqibul Hasan have led from the front with the willow for their sides Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

The cricketers have turned professional, switching teams almost every season, thus creating no excitement among the fan base, while Mohammedan, due to several reasons, have lost interest in boasting a title contending side, and make the rivalry against Abahani fierce

The Abahani-Mohammedan tie at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur Monday could have been the most attractive fixture of the ongoing Dhaka Premier League. 

However, what could have been a fantastic battle between the two traditional rivals has lost its charm over the past few years. 

The cricketers have turned professional, switching teams almost every season, thus creating no excitement among the fan base, while Mohammedan, due to several reasons, have lost interest in boasting a title contending side, and make the rivalry against Abahani fierce.

The last time Mohammedan won the Dhaka League has been more than 10 years now.

The cry for the revival of the rivalry of the two legendary sides has been going on for quite a while but no major initiatives have been taken.

In the points table, Abahani, bolstered with names from the national dressing room, are at the top with four wins in five matches. 

Mohammedan meanwhile, are fifth with three wins in five games. 

Abahani this season have Mashrafe bin Mortaza, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Mohammad Mithun and Rubel Hossain as national cricketers. 

In comparison, Mohammedan only have Shafiul Islam, who is on and off in the national team.

Abahani all-rounder Mosaddek Hossain informed that they only came to know that they would take on Mohammedan in the next game after coming to the practice session in Mirpur Sunday. 

The reply had toned down the excitement of the media personnel who had thought of highlighting the “big game”.

“I have grown up hearing that the games between these two teams are very competitive. Right now, I think we (Abahani) are a good team, but they (Mohammedan) can also produce a good result with team effort. We might have lost a game but still stand in a good position in the tournament. We are more focused on the game rather than the opponent,” said Mosaddek to the media.

Former Bangladesh pacer Manjurul Islam played for Mohammedan for 14 years and has returned to the club as coach this season. 

“I made my national team debut after playing for Mohammedan. The responsibility is on us (the players and the officials) to ensure that the legend between the two clubs sustains,” said Manjurul, who disagreed that the game would be a one-sided affair owing to the vast difference of the bench strength of the eternal arch-rivals.

“It is a difficult question. I was a professional cricketer and now a professional coach. I played for Mohammedan for 14 years. That way I need to look forward to the tournament and a game at a time. I believe year 2019 is going to be a big year for Mohammedan. Professionalism is Mohammedan’s strength and maintaining that can make a difference,” he added.

In the other two matches of the day, Lt. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club Limited will take on Gazi Group Cricketers at Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah while Legends of Rupganj will face Khelaghar Samaj Kalyan Samity at BKSP. 

Rupganj have four wins under their belt so far this season while Gazi Group and Sheikh Jamal have bagged two wins each. 

Khelaghar are among the bottom teams in the table with one victory in five matches.