Zuffri proffers Dhaka option

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  • Published 12.06.12

Guwahati, June 11: Former Assam Ranji skipper and Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) chief executive officer Syed Zakaria Zuffri has suggested that cricketers from the state venture out and participate in tournaments like the Dhaka league in Bangladesh to get more exposure.

Reacting to the Assam cricket fraternity’s wish for paving the way for state cricketers to be part of BPL as the IPL remained a remote dream, Zuffri told The Telegraph that the Dhaka league was an equally lucrative tournament, where players can get good exposure apart from earning well.

“Like IPL, in BPL too, players from other countries have to be either internationals or good like South African Richard Levi to be in the auction. The easier way to knock on BPL franchisees’ doors is to participate in the Dhaka league as foreign professionals,” he said.

“The Dhaka league has over the years became so professional that international players from Pakistan like Aaqib Javed and Rana Naved are regulars in every team. Some players from India’s West and South zones have been participating in the Dhaka League for the last few years and the standard of the tournament is no less than the BPL,” Zuffri said.

“Playing against cricketers of that standard can always help our players improve. Our boys rarely get opportunities to play against players from different parts of the world and the Dhaka league is definitely an easily accessible avenue,” he said.

He, however, lamented that despite getting an opportunity to pave the way for at least two Assam batsmen to make a foray into the Dhaka league, he could not get players whom he could project. “I was approached by a leading club for two batsmen as foreign professionals. I called up Ranji players Tarjinder Singh and Gokul Sharma. While one of them did not attend my call, the other was part of the Duleep Trophy East Zone squad. Though I was expecting calls from other Assam cricketers, no one did so,” Zuffri, who was part of Hyderabad Heroes, the champions in the inaugural edition of the now disbanded Indian Cricket League, said.

About the possibility of a clash of dates with the Indian domestic season, Zuffri said players from other parts of the country are playing in the league for last few seasons.

“It is very easy because it’s just a matter of a few hours’ flight between Dhaka and Guwahati. If their counterparts from Chennai, Bangalore, Calcutta and Delhi can manage it, I don’t see it as a problem for Assam players,” Zuffri said.

Assam Cricket Association (ACA) secretary Bikash Baruah, too, had suggested the same earlier to local players.

Baruah had said players could utilise BCCI grants in arranging tours for themselves to play in countries like England, Australia and South Africa during the long monsoon season in the state.