Saturday, February 23, 2013
IAN Pont is back home in Halstead after leading defending champions Dhaka Gladiators to their second successive title in the Bangladesh Premier League.
Pont, who coached the star-studded line up last year, returned this time with legendary players such as Chris Gayle, Keiron Pollard, plus England’s Luke Wright and Owais Shah from Essex, to retain the trophy.
He said: “Winning back-to-back titles is just fantastic. With an extra franchise this year, competition was even stiffer but we managed to maintain consistency throughout.”
Dhaka finished top of the group in the first phase, winning nine matches and losing just three. They had an exciting four-run win over second-placed Sylhet Royals in the ‘Race To The Final’ between the top two before winning Tuesday’s final, where Dhaka Gladiators scored 172 for nine whilst the Chittagong Kings fell 43 runs short after being bowled out for 129.
“The secret is in team selection and how you blend the local and overseas players”, said former Essex bowler Pont.
“Our players performed at key times, which helped us make important wins. It was bitter-sweet winning over a Chittagong team that included Ravi Bopara and Ryan ten Doeschate - two players I have worked with at Essex previously.”
Dhaka Gladiators now qualifiy for the lucrative Champions League in September, when they will take on the world’s best in India.
“I am excited by Champions League. It will give us all a chance to see how we can perform on a world stage, out of a local environment and against the very finest players,” added Pont.