Saturday, September 18, 2021

Sizzling Sylhet crowned District Cup Winners!

Sylhet District have been crowned champions of the Bangladesh District Cup of 2021.

After a year of postponement due to lockdown and the Coronavirus pandemic the cricket championships returned, played outdoors for the very first time at Seven Kings Park.

Ten teams representing Districts of Bangladesh took to the fields today to battle it out for the right to take over from Dhaka Gladiators as champions. 

With Dhaka exiting early, it was confirmed that there would be a new name on the trophy. Sylhet battled through the group stages, defeating Noakhali, Hobiganj, and the prize scalp of Sunamganj, before swiftly dispatching Ayaz Karim’s Chittagong in the semi final  

Sunamganj beat Moulvibazar Bazar to set up a star studded final against Sylhet. The two titans locked horns once again but Sylhet had the momentum and we’re just too strong for an excellent Sunamganj team. 

Our team were simply breathtaking, proving those watching with a real treat seldom seem at grassroots level. The brand of cricket on show was a cut above the rest of our respected opponents. Having said all that, many a talented team has succumbed to expectation and pressure, but not this team. The mental strength and belief shown, the consistency in sticking to the game plan, the attention to detail was all exemplary. 

We were unbeaten throughout - Beating Noakhali, Hobiganj and the big one against Sunamganj to wrap up the group, followed by a bloodbath against Chittagong in the semi finals and a comfortable final win against a formidable Sunamganj.

Mehdi Abbas was named the tournaments Most Valuable Player with some phenomenal displays with both bat and ball. Having been recognised as a prodigious talent since the age of thirteen, many who have had the pleasure of witnessing the rise of the all rounder took a great deal of pleasure in seeing him peak today. 

The incredible Robin Das was highest run scorer and Mehedi Hasan Chowdhury Radi as highest wicket taker. 

Thanks to Relaks Radio thousands of people, both in the UK and abroad were able to enjoy a feast of cricket, played on a perfect sunny day. 

Special guests during our presentation included Shahidul Alam Ratan and BCSA Chair Abdus Salam, Rashid Ali, Chairman of the Inner London Football League, Osmani Nagar manager Jakir Ahmed, Kabir, Hussain and legend Shuzad Miah, Lokuj Jaman from Gulapganj, Humayun from Sylhet Sadar, Jamal Bhai from Sonali Othith, Selim Bhai from Beanibazar, Abdus Samad from the Vantage Accident Management Group, Lutfur Rahman of Work Permit Cloud WPC, Councillors Jyotsna and Sham Islam from Redbridge Council.

Our sponsors Abdus Samad from the Vantage Accident Management Group, Lutfur Rahman of Work Permit Cloud WPC shelled out with hard cash to help pay for kit, food, entry fee etc. 

Community sponsors are a breed apart. They receive no recompense at all when they support grassroots events, apart from the satisfaction of helping their community. I’m so glad you were both there to witness all of this. And yes, I will be knocking on your door again brothers. 

Bangladesh District Cup official Jawar Ali, Essex County Cricket Board Director commented, “It’s been a phenomenal day full of friendship, fun and excellent cricket. Congratulations to Sylhet on lifting the trophy on such a memorable day. 

“This event will serve many great purposes, but above all it has bought us together and provided sunshine after such a difficult two years living through lockdown and a global pandemic.”

Sylhet District Captain Sayfur Rahman added, “It has been a difficult and challenging journey for us after the way our lives have been affected. I want to thank my coaching colleagues and players for their never say die attitude as we have had so many obstacles to defeat. 

“Our squad of players and management were behind special today and it made me emotional to see us all operating to such high standards to achieve our objectives. 

Sayfur has been exceptional since being handed the captaincy, committed, knowledgeable and commanding respect on and off the field. He is after all from Osmani Nagar and they are made of stern stuff there. The sacrifices he has made and the networking to help assemble such a prized squad is now legend. 

I should add that having the technical knowledge of Sylhet coaching legend Maruf Hasan was a huge bonus for me and each time I tapped into his vast mind bank I came away having learnt something profound. 

Today we witnessed a phenomenal team, unbeaten all day, in control, assured, oozing class, self belief and confidence in every single game - The conduct of each member of the squad as ambassadors was outstanding. 

Thank you BCSA for an extraordinary day and to our opponents for helping make this day so special. Personally, I am indebted and reserve special and personal thanks to Jawar for the faith shown in our coaching team. He did what Rashid Ali of the ILFL did four years ago by taking an out of the box decision and handing me the Vets World Cup manager for Bangladesh. Your belief in us was greater than our own!

This is a journey which began with Ahmed Choudhury paying four visits to my doorstep with a Scintilla sweater - He is the grand architect and catalyst here!

It was a very satisfying cycle home in the dark. I hadn’t anticipated being out all long and had no headlights. Some champions like a limo, Jordan Henderson put his feet up on the Liverpool FC chartered plane after the Champions League win, others a jet, an open top bus as their preferred choice but for me it’s my trusty two wheeler - the GIANT gifted to me by a close friend for #bookbikelondon I had the trophy sticking out the top of my rucksack and hot lots of peculiar glances and even a horn or three from cars too close for comfort. I like to think they were just saluting Sizzling Sylhet - The Bangladesh District Cup Champions of 2021.

Sylhet District - Bangladesh District Cup Champions 2021

Emdad Rahman

Team Coach and Sylhet District Chairman

Maruf Hasan

Team Coach

Jamil Chowdhury

Player and Team Managing Director

Sayfur Rahman

Team Captain and Deputy Managing Director

Alomgir Ali

Comms and Media Manager

Akhlakun Nobi Jewel

Team operations Co-ordinator

Ali Amjad Misbah

Team Consultant

Sylhet District Players Squad 2021

1. Sayfur Rahman (Captain)

2. Jamil Chowdhury (Vice Captain)

3. Mohammad Chowdhury

4. Ali Amjad Misbah

5. Mitu Ahmed

6. Ripon Noor

7. Fakhrul Hussain 

8. Sanjid Sami

9. AZM Johnny

10. Mehedi Abbas 

11. Muzzammal Salman

12. Azimunnoor Chowdhury 

13. Habib Shiplu

14. Abul Hussain 

15. Zakoan Chowdhury 

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