Dhaka Gladiators have lifted the inaugural UK Bangladesh District Cup after beating Maulvibazar in the final played at the UEL Sportsdock in Newham.
The team sponsored by Alif & Co Accountants and representing UK Bangladeshi residents who hail from the capital city of Bangladesh narrowly defeated Maulvibazar in a tense and nail biting final.
Dhaka looked particularly strong throughout and featured celebrated cricket stars Ashfaqur Rahaman Nobel, Bulbul Kadir, Mahabub Ahasan Chisty, Shaha Riadh, Ashraful Islam and man of the match Nabil Chowdhury.
Syed Hasan’s men batted first and scored 66 runs from their designated eight overs.
Maulvibazar were confident with the run chase but Nobel, Chisty and Bulbul gained a tight hold on proceedings to limit their opponents to eleven runs from the first three overs.
Maulvibazar recovered and needing eleven from the final over came face to face with player manager Syed Hasan Tarif for the last six balls.
With the game balanced on the final ball with Maulvibazar needing four to win, Dhaka skipper Tarif held his nerve to deliver the decisive final ball to defend four runs and take the trophy home by two runs.
After lifting the trophy the ecstatic skipper commented, “We are too excited for words and it’s hard to describe the feeling. It’s been such hard work getting this team together but winning the tournament is really the icing on the cake for us.
“Huge thanks to my all team mates who stayed together till the last moment and lifted the spirit of cricket throughout from the first match to our winning moment.
“Congratulations Dhaka Gladiators.”
Director of Essex Cricket Board Jawar Ali said, “We wanted a sports event to be inclusive of all Bangladeshis and came up with this idea. Cricket is in our blood. We successfully bought everyone together and this event can be bigger and better, especially if we can share our experience and knowledge.”
Former Bangladesh player and coach Shahidul Alam Ratan commented, “I’d like to thank everyone who took part in this competition. It was really positive to see families come along and support the teams today. The unifying spirit today has been simply immense.”
Essex Development Manager Arfan Akram added, “I’m very grateful for platforms and opportunities like this where we get to see and engage with you all. We’re very keen to engage with the Bangladeshi community and it’s really inspiring how everyone came together today. Hopefully from our perspective we can continue to support these initiatives.”
Bangladesh Cricket Supporters Association President Abdus Salam said, “It’s been a great day for cricket and the community and I hope this is the start of something very special in terms of community engagement through cricket.”
London Tigers Chief Executive Mesba Ahmed concluded, “From my point of view it was a fantastic festival and I really enjoyed it all. The final was really tense and I want to thank everyone who volunteered their time for pulling it all together. It takes a great deal of effort to organise such events.
“I think the most positive outcome achieved today is how the event has bought so many people together in connecting with each other. This is a great way to attract people and develop cricketers to push on and participate in mainstream cricket.”
About the organisers
This competition was organised by the most experienced cricket organisers within the NRB community in the UK.
Together they are the leading figures within cricket in the community and have been nationally recognised by the England & Wales Cricket Board.
Jawar Ali – Director of Essex Cricket Board & General Secretary–BCSA UK
Abdus Salam – President, Bangladesh Cricket Supporters Association (BSCA) UK
Md Shahidul Alam Ratan – CEO Capital Kids Cricket & Former Bangladesh National Cricketer and Coach
Salman Ahmed – London Tigers Cricket Development Coordinator
Emdad Rahman (MBE) – Chairman, Scintilla CC, Sports Journalist, Community Coach and Activist
Sayfur Rahman – Cricketer & Trustee of Probashi Balaganj Osmani Nagar Adarsha Shomittee
Mokhlisur Rahman Suton – Cricketer and BPL T20 organiser
· Manager – Abu Sufian
· Sponsor – Sundarban Foundation
· Manager – Bokul Hussain
· Sponsors – Bangla Town
· Manager – Forhad Khan Pathan
· Sponsor – Mahbub & Co Accountants
· Manager – Ibrahim Meah
· Sponsor – Target Properties
· Manager – Abdus Salam
· Sponsor – Hathi Claims
· Manager – Syed Hasan Tarif
· Sponsor – Alif & Co Accountants
· Manager – Emdad Rahman MBE
· Sponsor – Vallance Grill & PFC