Rafique might participate in MCL as a player


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Jannatul Naym Pieal

Legendary spinner Mohammad Rafique, who was the first Bangladeshi to amass 100 wickets in Test cricket, has confirmed his participation in the Masters Champions League (MCL) as the assistant coach of Gemini Arabians. Besides, he has also hinted of his possibility to take part in the competition as a cricketer as well.

And in that case, his jursey number will as usual be 77, a number that he owned throughout his international career. There is a interesting story regarding this number as well. On May 17, 1998, Bangladesh clinched their first ever international ODI match against Kenya. And Rafique was the hero of the match.

Though he is mostly known for his bowling prowess, he played a big part with the willow in that game and Bangladesh eventually claimed the match on back of Rafique’s splendid 77. Since then, 77 had become the trademark number for Rafique.


“One of the Gemini Arabians officials called me over telephone and inquired which jersey number would I prefer. When I asked the reason, they said they might play me in the tournament as well. And since I have a history with the jersey jumber 77, I chose it once again,” said Rafique.

If Rafique is really played in the tournament, he will be the first Bangladesh cricketer to play in the tournament. However, Rafique claimed that he is quite contented with his current role and even if he is not played in any match, he won’t be disappointed as all, as it’s already will be a great experience for him to work with so many superstars.

“I am going there knowing I am not going as a player, but a coaching staff,” he said. “So, not getting chance to play in any of the matches won’t hurt me at all. There will a number of star cricketers and first and foremost I would like to do my coaching job properly.”

All-time great cricketers like Shivnarayan Chanderpaul, Kumar Sangakkara, Virender Sehwag and the spinners duo Muttiah Muralitharan and Saqlain Mustaq are expected to feature in Rafique’s team Gemini Airlines. They will start their campaign against Jacques Kallis-Sourav Ganguly’s Libra Legends on January 28, while the final of the tournament will be played on February 13.

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