“We are delighted that Mertesacker and Rosicky have committed their futures to the club,” he told Arsenal’s official website. “They are players of exceptional quality and experience, and have consistently proven themselves at the highest level. There is a great feeling of togetherness and belief in the group and this news will only help to strengthen this further.” Mertesacker, signed from Werder Bremen in 2011, has started all but two of Arsenal’s Barclays Premier League fixtures so far this season and – with 95 Germany caps to his name – his experience has proved invaluable. The defender said signing a new deal was a simple decision to make as he has a passion for the club. “It was easy for me to commit myself to the club,” he said. “I have been here for two-and-a-half great years and feel I have great support from everyone at the club and the fans. I’m really looking forward to having more years coming up with this fantastic club. We have a great team here and we all want to do our best to win trophies. “I have become a real Gunner…I am truly thankful to the club and all the supporters for the time I have had here so far. And today I am deeply proud to have extended my contract with Arsenal. I’m proud to be a Gunner.” With the club-record signing of Mertesacker’s compatriot Mesut Ozil in the summer and the emergence of Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere in recent times, Rosicky was widely expected to be the man who missed out on playing for Arsenal on a regular basis. Germany international Mertesacker, 29, has established himself as a key member of Arsene Wenger’s first-choice back-four, playing alongside Laurent Koscielny for much of the campaign. Rosicky also continues to form an integral part of Wenger’s title-challenging squad despite being 33 and the Gunners’ boss is pleased to have both players staying at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal have been given a double boost after announcing both defender Per Mertesacker and midfielder Tomas Rosicky have signed new contracts with the club. But the Czech Republic star has featured 27 times across all competitions this season and is aiming to pick up his first Premier League crown with a club he joined over eight years ago. “I’m very happy that I’m staying at the club,” he said. “I’m proud that I’m still here after a long time and that it still continues. I’m glad I’m here at Arsenal and we’re all trying our best to win trophies for the club and our supporters. “Ever since I arrived at Arsenal, I have always felt that I’m at the right place where I want to be. I still feel this way now and I’m proud that after such a long time I’m still here and will continue. One big factor is that I want to win the league with Arsenal.” Wenger’s side currently sit third in the table and are four points adrift of leaders Chelsea having fallen to a 1-0 defeat at Stoke last weekend. Press Association
DHAKA, Bangladesh (CMC) – West Indies opener Evin Lewis shone as Dhaka Dynamites trounced Darren Sammy’s Rajshahi Kings by 56 runs to capture the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) title here yesterday.Playing in the final at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, the left-handed Lewis top-scored with 45 as Dynamites, sent in, rallied to 159 for nine off their 20 overs.Fellow left-hander Kumar Sangakkara made 36 but he and Lewis were the only two to pass 20 for the favourites.Seamer Farhad Reza was the best bowler with three for 28 while Sammy picked up a single wicket in an expensive two-over spell which cost 22 runs.In reply, opener Mominul Haque top-scored with 27 and Sabbir Rahman chipped in with 26 but they were only two of three in double figures and the only ones to pass 20, as Kings collapsed to 103 all out off 17.4 overs.West Indies all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell could pick up only a wicket each.Entering as the heavy favourites, Dynamites stumbled at the start as they slumped to 42 for three in the seventh over before recovering thanks to a 41-run fourth-wicket stand between Lewis and Sangakkara.Lewis faced 31 deliveries and counted eight fours while Sangakkara struck two fours and a six in a 33-ball knock.When Lewis perished to a catch at short fine leg off Farhad Reza in the 11th over, both Bravo (13) and Russell (8) fell cheaply to leave Dynamites on 113 for six in the 16th over.Sangakkara then kept the lower order together to see Dynamites to a competitive score.In reply, Kings lost Nurul Hasan in the third over for five at 15 for one but Mominul and Sabbir put the run chase back on track with an enterprising 47-run second-wicket stand.Mominul faced 30 balls and counted three fours while Sabbir hit two fours in a 22-ball innings.Once Sabbir was run-out in the 10th over, however, the innings went into decline as Kings lost their last eight wickets for 37 runs.Sammy could only manage six this time around while Windies T20 seamer Kesrick Williams made four before retiring hurt.