Players from Indian Women's League are interested to play in Bangladesh if the country's women's football league rolls on the pitch this year, Sabina Khatun told Dhaka Tribune after returning home from a successful maiden IWL campaign this month.
Sabina, who scored half a dozen goals while lifting Sethu Football Club of Tamil Nadu to the last four in the event’s second edition, also believes that the presence of foreign female footballers would upgrade the standard of the league and its local female booters.
"Many players from Indian Women's League want to play in our league. They asked me to invite them when the club football begins and they told me they would definitely play here," said Sabina Monday.
The last time the women's football league was held was back in 2013 where Sabina played for Mohammedan Sporting Club Limited. Sabina hoped, "If the league resumes this year it will be more competitive. Hopefully many more clubs will participate in the league. We also want the clubs to bring in foreign female footballers because if the standard of the game improves, the number and quality of players will also be upgraded."
Sabina also talked as to how she outraced Tottenham Hotspur reserve team player Tanvie Hans to become a regular starter despite the fact that only one foreigner was eligible to play in the starting XI.
"There were three foreign players in the team, including Krishna [Srimoti Rani Sarkar] and Tanvie. Tanvie is Indian but has a British passport. She started the opening game but as soon as I got into the pitch, I never looked back," she said before adding “There was probably one more player like me in the IWL who started the games regularly. She is also a good player."
Sabina perhaps mentioned Uganda’s player of the year, Fazila Ikwaput, who played for Kerala-based club Gokulam FC. Coincidentally, Sabina made her IWL starting XI debut against Fazila's Gokulam on March 29 where she also scored her first goal in the Indian league, guiding Sethu to a comfortable 2-0 win.
Sabina went on to score in the next three consecutive matches, including a couple of braces. She added, "It was a matter of real pride representing the country's football abroad and when the performance is good it feels rather extraordinary."