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Cricket news - Bangladesh players turn to cricket after Christchurch trauma

Soumya Sarkar is one of the Bangladesh cricketers who have turned to the game in a debilitating time

Several national cricketers are gearing up to take part in the upcoming Dhaka Premier League, Bangladesh's prestigious 50-over tournament, in an attempt to leave the trauma of the Christchurch shooting behind them.

The arrival of Soumya Sarkar in the academy premises to join the Abahani Limited squad was nothing short of a surprise, considering they were expected to be with their family to recover from the unexpected shock following the shootout in Christchurch, which claimed 49 lives and left several others injured.

A long chat between Mashrafe Mortaza and Soumya Sarkar suggested that the former had words of comfort for the latter to put the incident behind him and move on to the cricket to take his mind off the anguish.

"I think the best way for them to get over the trauma is by returning to the cricket field,'' Mashrafe told Cricbuzz after the practice session at the Shere Bangla National Stadium on Monday. ''Because if you lock yourself, then there is hardly any room to get over it. So I requested Soumya to start his DPL campaign soon. It is up to him to make the final call."

Soumya confirmed his participation in the Dhaka Premier League and echoed Mortaza's sentiments. "I have decided to play for Abahani tomorrow,'' said Soumya.

''All those things keep coming up when I am alone at home'' he said. Sarkar, who lives in Dhaka to fulfill his cricketing commitments, has a family that lives far away in Sathkhira.

The Bangladesh players narrowly escaped the shooting incident in Christchurch, reaching the location only a few minutes after a gunman opened fire inside the premises of the mosque. The third Test between New Zealand and Bangladesh, which was due to begin on the 16th of March, was ultimately called off and the traumatized visiting team left the country the following morning.

Nazmul Hasan, the Bangladesh Cricket Board President, welcomed the players and the support staff at the airport and asked them to take some time out from cricket and spend some valuable with their families to recuperate from the trauma.

Bangladesh opener Shadman Islam's father, Shahidul Islam, who is working in the development committee in the BCB, believes staying home is only putting pressure on his son and that it would do him a world of good if he returned to the cricket field.

"I asked him to play immediately because it was clearly visible that he is under pressure at home. A lot of our relatives are asking him various questions regarding that incident,'' said Shahidul. ''He was quite clearly not comfortable with it."

Shadman expressed that although he is not sure whether he will be able to make the Playing XI for Shinepukur tomorrow (due to his back pain), he has made up his mind that he won't delay his return because of the shooting incident.

''I am not sure whether I will be able to play tomorrow as I am suffering from some back pain, but I am certain that I will be available for the games to follow. I look forward to getting back on the field,'' said Sadman. "I think cricket can be our biggest healer."

Abahani Limited will take on Shinepukur at Fatullah while Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club will take on Prime Bank Club at BKSP 3 on Tuesday. In the other fixture, Mohammedan Sporting Club will take on Legend of Rupganj at Shere Bangla National Stadium.

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