Naim Sheikh and Hasan Mahmud are fresh faces who have made it into the national fold with impressive BBPL performances
In the absence of big-name overseas players, locals shined at the just concluded special edition of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20.
With the World T20I to be held later this year, selectors of the Bangladesh Cricket Board were keeping a close eye on the BBPL and this is reflected in the national squad for the three-match T20I series against Pakistan later this month.
Naim Sheikh and Hasan Mahmud are fresh faces who have made it into the national fold with impressive BBPL performances.
Meanwhile, opener Nazmul Hossain Shanto, spinner-allrounder Mahedi Hasan, and pacers Shafiul Islam and Al-Amin Hossain have forced their way back into the team after previously being omitted.
Although the BBPL is normally dominated by overseas T20 stalwarts, seven of the top 10 run-scorers were locals this time around.
Khulna Tigers wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim was the highest scorer among the locals and second overall with 491 runs at a strike rate of 147.
Mushfiq’s Khulna team mate and Kolpak batsman Rilee Rossouw was the highest scorer with 495 runs at a blistering strike rate of 155.17.
Among the wicket-takers, five Bangladeshi bowlers made it into the top 10.
Left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman finished on top with 20 wickets for Rangpur Rangers, even though they did not make it to the playoffs.
Rajahshi Royals wicketkeeper-batsman Irfan Sukkur Friday became the first uncapped Bangladesh player to hit a half-century in a BBPL final as his side triumphed over Khulna by 21 runs.
The latest edition of the BBPL initially failed to attract crowds, as the non-involvement of franchises led to little branding ahead of the tournament.
Controversies over alleged unethical acts by the team Sylhet Thunder and lack of professionalism from some sponsors also hit the tournament hard by making headlines around the world.
However, the action on the field took the limelight as the tournament progressed, with competitive wickets playing a vital role.
Record totals were broken and the boundaries flowed, particularly at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka and Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong.
A total of eight matches of the latest BBPL season saw teams post totals over 200, with Chattogram Challengers scoring the highest 238 against Cumilla Warriors.
The same game set the record for the highest aggregate number of runs, with 460 runs scored between the two teams.
Although the tournament has been a success on the field, it is understood that the BCB’s finances have taken a heavy hit as a result of organizing the tournament.
There is high anticipation for the return of the franchises next season, along with the big name overseas players missing this time.
As per the last meeting between the BCB and the BPL T20 franchises from the previous seasons, discussions are already underway and some of the teams have already started preparing for the next season by signing overseas cricketers.