The players’ draft of the Masters Cricket Carnival (MCC) was held on Tuesday at Mirpur's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
The six participating sides – Gemcon Group Khulna, Lanka-Bangla All Stars Masters, Ispahani Chittagong Masters, Jaj Bhuiyan Dhaka Division, Confidence Group Dhaka Metro and Renaissance Rajshahi – formed teams comprising 14 former cricketers.
Each team also named a veteran cricketer as the mentor.
Convened by former Bangladesh captains Akram Khan, Khaled Mahmud and Khaled Mashud, the tournament, that will hold its first phase in Cox’s Bazar from September 1-3, aims to raise fund for the welfare of the cricketers.
The six participating teams have been divided into two groups and the matches will be 25-over ties with the implication of international cricket rules. The final game of the carnival will be held at the home of cricket in Mirpur on September 6 under lights.
“The former cricketers are all scattered and engaged with their personal work. This event will be a platform for cricketers like us to come close once again. This is not a tournament for us but a carnival where we will get to know how one is doing with life and if anyone needs support,” Mahmud told the media.
[caption id="attachment_11988" align="aligncenter" width="761"]
Former Bangladesh captains Akram Khan (2R) and Minhajul Abedin (R) waits for their call for Ispahani Chittagong Masters during the MCC players' draft Mainoor Islam Manik[/caption]
“The tournament does not aim to earn from sponsorship, rather, use the incoming money for the welfare of former cricketers. It is bitter but the truth is that there are many former cricketers who are not financially sound and fall helpless financially if there is a serious illness to fight against. So, we (the organisers) have decided to put the money earned from the tournament behind the welfare of the cricketers,” Mahmud added.
There was however, an odd moment during the draft when the inclusion of banned former cricketer Shariful Haque Plaban got pointed out. Plaban is serving a lifetime ban after the Bangladesh Cricket Board found him guilty for approaching Mashrafe bin Mortaza for spot fixing during the first season of the Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20.
But the MCC authority overlooked the ban and included Plaban in the draft list. He was eventually picked up by Renaissance Rajshahi.
Mahmud while explaining the issue said they will look into the issue and take necessary steps.