The deadline for the BPL T20 franchises to submit their list of their three local retainees from the last season is still a month away.
Comilla Victorians however, did not wait for the deadline and have already submitted their list to the BPL governing council. The side have retained top-order batsman Imrul Kayes, wicketkeeper-batsman Liton Das and young pacer-allrounder Saifuddin, according to a list shared on the Comilla page on social media. It is understood that the desperate move by the franchise was made due to their ongoing issue with the BPL GC over Imrul.
As reported in the first part of this article on Wednesday, the BPL GC is mulling naming batsman Imrul as the No 8 Icon/A+ cricketer, in order to match the number of participating teams in the tournament. In case of no solution to the matter, the BPL GC is likely to name young left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman as the No 8 Icon.
Except for Sylhet, all the other six teams are set to submit their respective lists to the BPL committee. Sylhet being the newest franchise will be given the luxury to call three local cricketers in one go before the players' draft begins.
Reigning champion Dhaka Dynamites are most likely to retain all-rounder Nasir Hossain, youngster Mosaddek Hossain and top-order batsman Mehedi Maruf.
Barisal Bulls might prefer keeping national discard Shahriar Nafees, left-arm paceman Abu Haider Rony and spinner Taijul Islam.
Chittagong Vikings might hold onto stumper-batsman Anamul Haque, fast bowler Taskin Ahmed and spinner Saqlain Sajib.
Khulna Titans shall be eager to retain paceman Shafiul Islam, spinner Mosharraf Hossain and one between all-rounders Ariful Haque and Shuvagata Hom.
Rajshahi Kings will think hard over retaining left-handed batsman Mominul Haque, youngster Mehedi Hasan Miraz and all-rounder Farhad Reza.
Probably it will be Rangpur Riders who will be in the biggest confusion over who to retain, given their long list of quality local cricketers, namely top-order batsman Mohammad Mithun, left-arm spinner Arafat Sunny and paceman Rubel Hossain.
As far as the foreign cricketers are concerned, the franchises are now divided in opinion. The BPL GC had proposed to allow maximum five overseas players in the playing XI and asked the franchises to share their opinion by Saturday. It is understood that a few franchises are favouring the decision on having five foreign cricketers in the starting XI while a few teams are set to hold onto the system from the last edition of the tournament, that of including four overseas players in the playing XI.
As far as directly recruiting foreign cricketers go, Khulna and holder Dhaka are leading the race at the moment.
All the franchises will have to buy at least two foreign cricketers from the players’ draft.
Khulna, who finished third in their maiden appearance in the competition last year, roped in Australia's Chris Lynn, South Africa's Rilee Roussow and Kyle Abbott, Pakistan's Sarfraz Ahmed, Junaid Khan and Shadab Khan and Sri Lanka's Seekkuge Prasanna. It is understood that the side are planning to sign two more cricketers – England's Dawid Malan and Benny Howell.
Dhaka maintained their practice of signing the big shots as the defending champion confirmed Australia's Shane Watson, Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara, Niroshan Dickwella and Asela Gunaratne, Pakistan's Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Amir, West Indies' Sunil Narine, Rovman Powell, Carlos Brathwaite and Evin Lewis.
Comilla are yet to announce any of their foreign requites but it is understood that the 2015 BPL champion have confirmed Pakistan's Shoaib Malik and Imran Khan Jr, Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews, New Zealand's Colin Munro, Afghanistan's Rashid Khan and West Indies' Darren Bravo.
Rajshahi meanwhile are likely to lose the services of their last season's captain Darren Sammy. The former Windies captain had confirmed his availability to Rajshahi for the season but later informed of pulling out due to his decision to join the South Africa Global T20 League, set to be held at the same time of BPL season five. The last season's runners-up however, have confirmed West Indies' Lendl Simmons and Kesrick Williams, Zimbabwe's Malcolm Waller, England's Samit Patel and New Zealand's James Franklin and are in talks with a few other cricketers.
Rangpur have announced the signings of England's Ravi Bopara, Sri Lanka's Thisara Parera and Nuwan Kulasekara and West Indies' Samuel Badree. The franchise have already announced former Australia cricketer Tom Moody as their coach for the season.
For Sylhet, Barisal and Chittagong – the sides are yet to make any heavy moves. Sylhet as a new franchise are still settling down. Barisal are badly hit by fund crisis and yet to be heard of signing any players while for Chittagong, the scenario is a pity. The franchise in their third year will be seen with yet another management revamp. Coming off the rumours of a possible ownership change, national chief selector Minhajul Abedin has joined the side as the advisor while his brother Nurul Abedin has taken charge as the head coach. The side are yet to confirm any foreign signing.