Mohun Bagan recruits Bangladesh cricketers

Mohun Bagan signed up Bangladesh trio of Mortaza, Tamim Iqbal and Mahbubul Alam, as the CAB in their emergency meeting allowed to field overseas recruits.

updated: January 13, 2009 17:29 IST
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Having already roped in Sri Lankan duo of Chamindaa Vaas and Tillakartne Dilshan, Mohun Bagan signed up Bangladesh trio of Mashrafe Mortaza, Tamim Iqbal and Mahbubul Alam, as the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) in their emergency meeting on Tuesday allowed to field overseas recruits for the ongoing 2008-09 season.

Surprised at the recruitments of Sri Lankan duo on Monday, the state association put Vaas' arrival on hold, citing reason the CAB constitution is silent on the participation of foreign cricketers and, in turn, called an emergency meeting on Tuesday to decide on the issue.

However, Tuesday's tournament committee meeting allowed the participation of foreign players for this season only as there was no such rule in their constitution.

"In fact, during the last season, Kalighat had fielded Bangladeshi left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique in the AN Ghosh Trophy and there was no protest. So we decided to let go this season, provided the players are registered before the cut off date (January 15). Besides, the CAB constitution is silent on the participation of foreign players," tournament sub-committee chairman Prabir Mitra said.

He, however, added this was allowed for this season only.

"It will be reviewed the next season and there will be a rule on foreign players' participation."

Mohun Bagan, meanwhile, signed up promising southpaw Iqbal, who hit an impressive 53-ball 51 knocked to send India out of the Caribbean World Cup.

Mohun Bagan's pace armoury WAS further strengthened with the recruitments of experienced right arm medium-pacer Mortaza and rookie seamer Alam.

With the Bangladesh trio and Sri Lankan Dilshan busy with their respective country committments, they won't be available for the JC Mukherjee Twenty20 tournament, which has now been rescheduled by the CAB.

Mohun Bagan who was scheduled to play their quarter-final against Shambazar on Wednesday, will now play with Vaas in their bowling line-up on January 16. The semis will be held on January 19, while the final will be held at Eden Gardens on January 20.

"I am a relieved man now. I was really surprised at CAB's decision yesterday as I had already signed the two Sri Lankan cricketers. But I am happy CAB has allowed their participation," Srinjoy Bose said, adding Vaas will arrive in the city on Thursday evening.

Meanwhile, state Sports Minister Subhas Chakraborty on Tuesday paid a visit to the Eden Gardens and had a meeting with the CAB President Jagmohan Dalmiya. The latter described the meeting as "courtesy visit".