The fourth edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Twenty20 is all set to restart Tuesday after rain washed away the first four matches which forced the BPL governing council to change the schedule of the money-spinning tournament.
According to the new start of the existing schedule, defending champions Mashrafe bin Mortaza’s Comilla Victorians will take on Tamim Iqbal’s Chittagong Vikings in the first match, starting from 2pm, while in the evening game, Shakib al Hasan’s Dhaka Dynamites will lock horns with Mushfiqur Rahim’s Barisal Bulls at 7pm.
Both the matches will be held in Mirpur's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
The Victorians will be looking to defend their title as they retained Imrul Kayes, Liton Kumar Das, player of the series in the previous edition Ashar Zaidi and Nuwan Kulasekara. They also roped in in-form Pakistani Imad Wasim, Sohail Tanvir and Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, among others.
Tigers opening batsman Kayes sounded positive ahead of their clash against the Vikings.
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The Victorians players share a light moment before training DHAKA TRIBUNE
“We will try to play our best cricket. The Vikings, along with the other teams, have formed formidable teams to win the title. We will look to play according to our game-plan and rest is upto the Almighty. I don't set any individual target but if I perform well, it will automatically benefit my team, which is more important for me,” said Kayes.
Their Tuesday's opposition, the Vikings, who put up a disappointing show in BPL 3, have come back strong this year with a new coach in the form of Mohammad Salahuddin while local lad Tamim Iqbal will look to lead the side from the front.
The Vikings' big-hitter Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Pakistani Shoaib Malik and Afghan Mohammad Nabi can prove to be deadly in their respective roles, along with veteran left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak and fast bowler Taskin Ahmed.
All in all, it promises to be a cracker of a game when the two sides get things rolling in the month-long competition.
Meanwhile in the other match of the day, the star-studded Dynamites, led by Shakib, will have Sri Lankan legends Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene at their disposal, along with West Indies duo Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell, in their pursuit of bettering their semi-final exit in BPL 3.
On the eve of their tournament opener, Shakib said, “This break has proved to be useful for the team as we got the time to gel as a unit. I think the change in fixture won't hamper our game-plan and strategy. Obviously, we will look to start the tournament on a winning note and gain the momentum, which will help us in the latter part of the tournament.
“Wherever I play, my team is always full of superstars. Even when I played for Rangpur Riders last year, everyone said my team is very strong. But I think whoever plays well on the day is the better team.”
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Barisal Bulls coach Dav Whatmore shakes hands with national paceman Kamrul Islam Rabbi DHAKA TRIBUNE
The Dynamites are up against Mushfiq’s Bulls, who have a relatively modest T20 squad devoid of explosive names. Shahriar Nafees, Shamsur Rahman and Nadif Chowdhury will shore up the batting department while Al Amin Hossain, Abu Haider Rony and left-arm spinner Taijul Islam form a strong bowling unit.
Rumman Raees, Dilshan Munaweera, Josh Cobb, Carlos Brathwaite and Mohammad Nawaz are the Bulls' overseas recruits and the quintet will surely add strength to their side.