Gemcon Khulna made the playoffs as the second team and will face the table toppers Gazi Group Chattogram in the first qualifier of the ongoing Bangabandhu T20 Cup on Monday. Being the second team in the points table, they will get another chance to make the final even if they lose.
Mahmudullah's men trained at the Academy Ground in Mirpur ahead of the match and Imrul Kayes spoke to the media about the team and himself after practice.
Imrul Kayes, the left-handed batsman, did not play the last league match for the side. It wasn't a surprising sight as he wasn't in good form in the previous matches and it was assumed by many that he was dropped. But the southpaw himself stated that he wasn't left out of the side. He had to return home due to personal reasons and missed the match because he was in isolation.
Imrul made it clear that he was not dropped. "I was not left out. I returned home due to some personal reasons. I was in isolation following the protocols and that's the reason why I missed out on the match," he said.
But the left-hander is not satisfied with his performance in the tournament. He has scored only 138 runs in the tournament with no half century to his name. But he wants to make amends in the next matches, "I couldn't live up to the expectations. But a player cannot perform all the time. There is still time and I will try my best to play well."
Imrul stated that the team is in great shape mentally. "Everyone is in a good mental state. We've made the playoffs as the second team. We now have two chances to make it to the finals."
Shakib Al Hasan has been out of sorts in the tournament especially with the bat. But Imrul believes that Shakib's experience will give them an edge over Chattogram. "Not many players have the experience that Shakib possesses. He has played franchise T20 cricket all over the world. In this sense, we will have an advantage. We probably haven't been able to react to situations properly in the tournament, but I am hopeful that we will make up everything in the next matches," Imrul commented.
Despite losing twice to Chattogram, the experienced campaigner reckons that if they do not repeat the mistakes they made in the previous matches, it will be possible to beat Chattogram.
Imrul said that it will be frustrating if they do not lift the trophy. "I think we couldn't perform that well, being a stellar team. We have a team that can win the tournament. A lot of things change in T20 cricket. But big players always perform in knockout games and big events," he concluded.