Mashrafe Bin Mortaza hogged the spotlight on the opening day of the two-day players' transfer for the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
The Bangladesh limited-overs captain, who will fly for Colombo today to lead the Tigers in the three-match ODI and two-match T20I series against Sri Lanka, signed for Legends of Rupganj at almost the last second of the bourse after he had mistakenly gone to the Bangabandhu National Stadium -- where the event had been taking place for a long time before shifting to the home of cricket in Mirpur this season.
Mashrafe was excited that the transfer system returned to its traditional form after the player-by-choice system was used in last two seasons.
"I am excited that players transfer returned to the traditional system because it gives players the freedom to choose their team," he said. "It's a good occasion to celebrate," he added.
Among the other Colombo-bound players, Shuvagata Hom signed for defending champions Abahani along with uncapped left-arm spinner Sanjamul Islam, while wicket-keeper batsman Nurul Hasan signed for Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club.
Even in his absence, Mahmudullah Riyad was another centre of attention. According to Legends of Rupganj officials, the all-rounder -- who was dropped from the team for the second Test against Sri Lanka and included in the ODI team after a lot of drama -- informed them at the eleventh hour that he had changed his mind and would be joining Abahani. It was said in shushed voices that Riyad was going to receive the highest payment, Tk 60 lakhs, this season.
When attention was drawn to Riyad's last moment change, Mashrafe said: "I cannot say anything about the other two national pool players. During the transfer we talk with lots of players."
Abahani are most likely to fill their national pool quota by roping in Tamim Iqbal and Mosaddek Hossain.
A useful all-rounder in domestic cricket, Nasir Hossain joined Gazi Group Cricketers along with Suhrawardi Shuvo, Naeem Islam, Abu Hider, Nadif Chowdhury and Shafiul Islam.
Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club were also busy on the opening day as they registered experienced campaigner Abdur Razzak alongside Elias Sunny, Tanvir Haider, Nurul Hasan and Fazle Rabbi. They are also expected to rope in Imrul Kayes.
"I am happy with my team as there are several players with huge amount of experience in domestic circuit," said Sheikh Jamal skipper Razzak.
Mohammad Ashraful also turned up to Mirpur to sign for Kalabagan Krira Charka on a day when a total of 87 players participated.