Abu Dhabi T10: Bangla Tigers hoping to draw support from sizable Bangladesh expat community

Sport360 staff 11:18 01/11/2019
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Bangla Tigers owner Yazmin Chowdhury.

Bangla Tigers, the new franchise team of the Abu Dhabi T10, has put up a formidable squad in its first bid to win the coveted Abu Dhabi T10 league title which takes place at the Zayed Cricket Stadium from November 14 to 24, 2019.

Icon Player Thisara Perera will be well supported by Colin Ingram, Andre Fletcher, Rilee Rossouw, Liam Plunkett, Robbie Frylinck, David Wiese and Shehan Jayasurya. They will be powered by Anamul Haque Bijoy, Farhad Reza – the two big hitters from Bangladesh – as well as UAE’s Qais Ahmed, Chirag Suri and Mohammed Abul Hashem. They will pick up one more from the Talent Hunt programme – that is currently undergoing.

Former Bangladeshi Test Player Aftab Ahmed has been appointed Head Coach of Bangla Tigers while Nafis Iqbal – elder brother of Bangladeshi Test Opener Tamim Iqbal.

Team Bangla Tigers is ready to turn on the sweet magic of Bengal, being the first Bangladeshi team in the T10 League. Bangla Tigers will fulfil an important gap in the Abu Dhabi T10 League – that will attract a large Bangladeshi cricket fans from different parts of the UAE.

Nearly 1 million Bangladeshi nationals live and work in the UAE, while more than 50,000 businesses are owned by Non-Resident Bangladeshi (NRB) entrepreneurs across the seven emirates.

“Although we bought the franchise rights of Bangla Tigers, it is the Bangladeshis living in the UAE and beyond – who are the real owners of Bangla Tigers team,” Yasin Chowdhury, a businessman and a cricket enthusiast, says. “So, we are now reaching out to the Bangladeshi community across the UAE to come in force at the Zayed Cricket Stadium and make the Abu Dhabi T10 a festival and grand success. We want them to cheer and enjoy the game.

“There will be winners and losers. Of course we want to be the winning side. However, we are entering the league with an open mind and open heart. We want this to turn into a festival and we want the crowd cheer with every boundary, six or a wicket!”

Yasin Chowdhury, Chairman of FMC Group, is a large shipbuilder in Chittagong – the commercial gateway to Bangladesh. He started business twenty years ago, right after completing studies in Chittagong University. He stormed into the UAE media limelight in September this year after buying the franchise rights for Bangla Tigers.

His team is currently visiting community members to garner support and encourage the Bangladeshi expatriates to come and enjoy cricket at the Abu Dhabi T10 league.

Sirajuddin Alamgir, Co-owner of Bangla Tigers, said, “We are conducting a number of roadshows in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and in Ras Al Khaimah to attract the 1 million Bangladeshis living in UAE. This team is not owned by us. This team is owned by all the Bangladeshis. So as an owner, every Bangladeshi living in UAE has huge responsibility of making our journey a success.”

Bangla Tigers opted to focus on big hitting as their strategy for a chance to clutch the Abu Dhabi T10, bringing in players with impressive batting skills. Former Sri Lankan limited overs captain Thisara Perera, will drive the batting attack for Bangla Tigers. He will be joined by world-class talents.

Bangla Tigers have been drawn into the tournament’s Group A and will square off against Deccan Gladiators, Delhi Bulls and Karnataka Tuskers in what will be a tightly contested group.

The Icon player of the team, Thisara Perera commented, “I’m very excited to play for Bangla Tigers in the Abu Dhabi T10 tournament. I’m optimistic and aiming high. I’m very much looking forward to give my best to the cricket fans in UAE. As everybody says that prayers and support changes the destiny. So we all need your support to make Bangladesh proud by giving this glorious victory cup to the fans from Bangladesh.”

Sri Lankan bustling right-arm seamer and sporadically effective left-handed hitter, Thisara Perera is known as expert in the limited-overs series player.

Aftab Ahmed, Head Coach of Team Bangla Tigers, said, “It is my pleasure to work with this fresh and motivated team representing Bangladesh to the UAE audiences. T10 cricket is the most recent and unique format of cricket and it will need specific training for players. I’m extremely satisfied with the player’s line-up. Perera, Ingram Rossouw, Fletcher, Faulkner and others are the best in limited-overs and I feel lucky to be their coach. I’m looking forward to working closely with the players to achieve our goals towards winning the cup.”

The Tigers’ batsmen are ready to fight the incredible line-up of competitors set to explode Zayed Cricket Stadium from 15-24 November, and will be looking to pounce against the Deccan Gladiators in their first match of the tournament which is on November 16.

“We have plans to engage the whole community and create awareness of this big tournament. We are having Bangladeshi community gatherings in every city of UAE, in Abu Dhabi, Dubai in Sharjah and also in Ras Al Khaimah to spread the T10 cricket among the Bangladeshi fans residing in UAE and to hook the Bangladeshi crowd and attract them to the Zayed stadium.” said the team manager Nafis Iqbal.

The tournament is being showcased in Abu Dhabi for the first time following a strategic government partnership between the Department of Culture and Tourism, the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Abu Dhabi Cricket.

“We are really thankful to Mr Shaji Ul Mulk and all other partners for choosing us to be a part of such mega cricket tournament.” said Nafis Iqbal.

Tickets start from the special price of Dh10, and will allow spectators to watch up to three matches a day. To book tickets, or to receive hospitality information, please visit: https://www.q-tickets.com/abudhabit10

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