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BPL 6 players’ draft held amid much excitement

  • Published at 03:33 pm November 30th, 2018
BPL
BCB president Nazmul Hasan and other officials during the players' draft of the BPL T20 in Dhaka Sunday Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

This article was published in the November issue of Sports Tribune magazine

The players’ draft of the glittering Bangladesh Premier League T20 season 6 took place in the last week of October amid much excitement. BPL 6 has already lit up with the inclusion of some of the big games in world cricket like AB de Villiers and David Warner, among others. The king of T20s, Chris Gayle will play for defending champion Rangpur Riders yet again, and the fans will hope that the big man will entertain the crowd with his power-hitting. 

There was much confusion about the participation of Chittagong Vikings this season as they did not submit their retained players’ list on time. But later, their participation was confirmed and they signed some good players, along with a few surprising names in the players’ draft. 

All eyes were on Mushfiqur Rahim as the wicketkeeper-batsman was released by his former team Rajshahi Kings. Just prior to the draft, Mushfiq was given to the Vikings as the six other teams already had one A+ category player, with the exception of the Vikings. Prior to the players’ draft, Chittagong made an application and the BPL governing council agreed to let Chittagong rope in Mushfiq. 

Khulna Titans made some interesting buys in the players’ draft, signing a few young talents for the upcoming season. Sylhet Sixers and Comilla Victorians recruited some big names in the players’ draft. Rajshahi formed a balance squad while Dhaka Dynamites made some interesting choices. 

So how do all the teams look following the players’ draft? Let’s take a look at the teams, numbered in accordance with their last year’s position in the tournament. 

Rangpur Riders' AB de Villiers 

Rangpur Riders

Captain: Mashrafe bin Mortaza

Coach: Tom Moody

Retained players: Mashrafe bin Mortaza, Mohammad Mithun, Nazmul Islam Opu and Chris Gayle

Direct signings: AB de Villiers (SA) and Alex Hales (Eng)

Locals picked: Abul Hasan, Fardeen Hossain, Nahidul Islam, Nadif Chowdhury, Mehedi Maruf, Shafiul Islam and Sohag Gazi

Foreigners picked: Benny Howell (Eng), Oshane Thomas (WI), Ravi Bopara (Eng)and Rilee Rossouw (SA)

Full squad so far: 

Chris Gayle, Mashrafe bin Mortaza, Nazmul Islam, Mohammad Mithun, AB de Villiers, Alex Hales, Benny Howell, Oshane Thomas, Abul Hasan, Fardeen Hossain, Nahidul Islam, Nadif Chowdhury, Ravi Bopara, Rilee Rossouw, Farhad Reza, Mehedi Maruf, Shafiul Islam and Sohag Gazi

Led by a successful captain in Mashrafe bin Mortaza, Rangpur formed a strong squad to defend their title. Before the players’ draft, they signed two powerful strikers of the cricket ball, Alex Hales and De Villiers – often referred to as Mr 360. And don’t forget they also have retained Gayle in their list. So with Gayle and De Villiers in the batting line-up, Rangpur can certainly expect some extra runs on the board. 

Rangpur also went for Abul Hasan and Farhad Reza, which could prove to be vital. They have also picked the experienced Nadif Chowdhury, who can score crucial runs in the end. They have picked Ravi Bopara, who played for them last season. Overall, a very well balanced squad for Rangpur and they can certainly hope to retain the title with a lot of firepower and experience in their squad.

Chittagong Vikings' Mohammad Ashraful Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

Chittagong Vikings

Captain: Not declared yet

Coach: Not declared yet

Retained players: Sikandar Raza (Zim), Luke Ronchi (NZ) and Sanjamul Islam,

Direct signing: Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Shahzad (Afg) and Robbie Frylinck (SA)

Locals picked: Shadman Islam, Yasir Ali Chowdhury, Nihaduzzaman, Mohammad Ashraful, Robiul Haque, Syed Khaled Ahmed, Nayeem Hasan, Mosaddek Hossain and Abu Jayed

Foreigners picked: Najibullah Zadran (Afg), Cameron Delport (SA) and Dasun Shanaka (SL)

Full squad so far:

Mushfiqur Rahim, Sikandar Raza, Luke Ronchi, Sanjamul Islam, Mohammad Shahzad, Robbie Frylinck, Shadman Islam, Najibullah Zadran,  Yasir Ali Chowdhury, Nihaduzzaman, Mohammad Ashraful, Robiul Haque, Cameron Delport, Dasun Shanaka, Syed Khaled Ahmed, Nayeem Hasan, Mosaddek Hossain and Abu Jayed

Chittagong Vikings’ participation was uncertain at one stage as they did not submit their players retention list on time. But in the end they came back and built a competitive squad for the upcoming season. Just prior to the draft they picked Mushfiqur Rahim as their A+ category player. Last year their icon player was Soumya Sarkar and this year Soumya was not included in the icon list. As Mushfiq’s previous team Rajshahi Kings did not retain him, Chittagong applied for Mushfiq and the BPL governing council accepted it. Chittagong’s surprise call was Mohammad Ashraful. He was in the players’ draft this season after serving his ban and Chittagong picked him. Mosaddek Hossain, Abu Jayed Rahi and Syed Khaled Ahmed were good picks for them in the draft, along with some other promising signings.

Comilla Victorians' Shoaib Malik

Comilla Victorians

Captain: Tamim Iqbal

Coach: Mohammad Salahuddin

Retained players: Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Saifuddin and Shoaib Malik

Direct signing: Asela Gunaratne (SL) and Liam Dawson (Eng)

Locals picked: Shamsur Rahman, Sanjit Saha, Mosharraf Hossain, Mohammad Shahid, Abu Haider Rony, Anamul Haque, Mehedi Hasan and Ziaur Rahman 

Foreigners picked: Amin Yamin (Pak), Evin Lewis (WI), Waqar Salamkheil (Afg), Shahid Afridi (Pak) and Thisara Perera (SL)

Full squad so far:

Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Saifuddin, Shoaib Malik, Asela Gunaratne, Liam Dawson, Amin Yamin, Evin Lewis, Waqar Salamkheil, Shamsur Rahman, Sanjit Saha, Mosharraf Hossain, Mohammad Shahid, Shahid Afridi, Thisara Perera, Abu Haider Rony, Anamul Haque, Mehedi Hasan and Ziaur Rahman 

Comilla played brilliantly, producing consistent performances last year until the elimination stage. They retained their core performers last year like captain Tamim Iqbal, opener Imrul Kayes, all-rounder Saifuddin and Pakistan recruit Shoaib Malik. Their direct signings were not such big names as they recruited Asela Gunaratne and Liam Dawson. But they did some big names in the players’ draft - Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi, Sri Lanka all-rounder Thisara Perera and West Indies opener Evin Lewis. Pacer Abu Haider Rony returned to the Comilla camp and the last time he played for Comilla, they were the champion.

Dhaka Dynamites' Andre Russell Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

Dhaka Dynamites

Captain: Shakib al Hasan

Coach: Khaled Mahmud Sujon

Retained players: Shakib al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell

Direct signing: Rovman Powell (WI) and Hazratullah Zazai (Afg)

Locals picked: Naeem Sheikh, Asif Hasan, Shahadat Hossain, Qazi Onik, Mizanur Rahman, Rony Talukdar, Shuvagata Hom, Rubel Hossain and Nurul Hasan

Foreigners picked: Andrew Birch (SA) and Ian Bell (Eng)

Full squad so far:

Shakib al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Rovman Powell, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Hazratullah Zazai, Naeem Sheikh, Asif Hasan, Shahadat Hossain, Qazi Onik, Mizanur Rahman, Andrew Birch, Ian Bell, Rony Talukdar, Shuvagata Hom, Rubel Hossain and Nurul Hasan

Dhaka already have some great T20I players in their retention list including the likes of Shakib al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell. Along with that, they have signed another power hitter, Hazratullah Zazai. Zazai just smashed six sixes in a match during the Afghanistan Premier League T20 recently. There is plenty of options as far as big hitting is concerned. Their surprising call in the draft was English batsman Ian Bell as overseas recruit. Picking young pacer Qazi Onik and national team seamer Rubel Hossian and the experienced Shahadat Hossain Rajib were good moves as they could bolster their pace department.

Khulna Titans' Mahmudullah Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

Khulna Titans

Captain: Mahmudullah

Coach: Mahela Jayawardene

Retained players: Mahmudullah, Ariful Haque, Nazmul Hossain Shanto and Carlos Brathwaite

Direct signing: Dawid Malan (Eng) and Ali Khan (USA)

Locals picked: Tanvir Islam, Mahidul Ankon, Subashish Roy, Junaid Siddique, Taijul Islam, Al Amin, Jahurul Islam and Shariful Islam

Foreigners picked: Zaheer Khan (Afg), Sherfane Rutherford (WI), Brendan Taylor (Zim), Lasith Malinga (SL) and Yasir Shah (Pak)

Full squad so far:

Mahmudullah, Ariful Haque, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Carlos Brathwaite, Dawid Malan, Ali Khan, Brendan Taylor, Lasith Malinga, Yasir Shah, Tanvir Islam, Mahidul Ankon, Subashish Roy and Junaid Siddique, Zaheer Khan, Sherfane Rutherford, Taijul Islam, Al Amin, Jahurul Islam and Shariful Islam

Khulna Titans retained Mahmudullah, Ariful Haque, Nazmul Hossain Shanto and Carlos Brathwaite from the previous season. Khulna’s pickings were interesting. They had the chance to call first in the auction list and they picked Jahurul Islam. Some people were surprised as they had the chance to recruit any players from the local players’ pool but they opted for Jahurul instead. Later it was revealed that the team needed a wicketkeeper-batsman who can also win matches for them with the bat. That’s why they chose the experienced Jahurul over the likes of Soumya Sarkar or any other opener. The signings of Lasith Malinga, Brendan Taylor and Yasir Shah from the players’ draft gave them depth in the squad and the fact that Mahmudullah, Ariful and Brathwaite are already in the line-up, the Titans formed a well balanced team who can challenge for the title this year.

Rajshahi Kings' Mustafizur Rahman Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

Rajshahi Kings

Captain: Not declared yet

Coach: Lance Klusener  

Retained players: Mominul Haque, Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Mustafizur Rahman and Zakir Hasan

Direct signings: Qais Ahmed (Afg) and Christiaan Jonker (SA)

Locals picked: Marshall Ayub, Kamrul Rabbi, Arafat Sunny, Soumya Sarkar, Fazle Rabbi and Alauddin Babu

Foreigners picked: Mohammad Sami (Pak), Seekkuge Prasanna (SL), Ryan ten Doeschate (Ned) and Laurie Evans (Eng)

Full squad so far:

Mominul Haque, Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Mustafizur Rahman, Zakir Hasan, Qais Ahmed, Christiaan Jonker, Mohammad Sami, Seekkuge Prasanna, Ryan ten Doeschate, Marshall Ayub, Kamrul Rabbi, Isuru Udana, Laurie Evans, Arafat Sunny, Soumya Sarkar, Fazle Rabbi and Alauddin Babu

By the look of things, Rajshahi Kings have a formidable squad on paper. And in legendary South African cricketer Lance Klusener, they have a shrewd mind as a coach. They released Mushfiqur Rahim and made Mustafizur Rahman the icon cricketer. Youngster Zakir Hasan will be expected to fill Mushfiq’s shoes as far as wicket-keeping is concerned. Soumya Sarkar is in form and the Kings camp will hope he transforms his Bangladesh form to the BPL. They also have a few well-travelled international cricketers in Pakistan’s Mohammad Sami, Sri Lanka’s Seekkuge Prasanna and Dutchman Ryan ten Doeschate.

Sylhet Sixers' David Warner

Sylhet Sixers

Captain: Liton Kumar Das

Coach: Waqar Younis

Retained Players: Nasir Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Liton Das and Sohail Tanvir

Direct signing: David Warner (Aus) and Sandeep Lamichhane (Nepal)

Locals picked: Mehedi Hasan Rana, Alok Kapali, Zakir Ali, Nabil Samad, Ebadat Hossain, Al Amin Hossain, Towhid Hridoy, Afif Hossain and Taskin Ahmed

Foreigners picked: Pat Brown (Eng), Nicholas Pooran (WI), Gulbadin Naib (Afg), Andre Fletcher (WI), Fabian Allen (WI) and Mohammad Irfan (Pak)

Full squad so far:

Nasir Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Liton Das, Sohail Tanvir, David Warner, Sandeep Lamichhane, Pat Brown, Nicholas Pooran, Mehedi Hasan Rana, Gulbadin Naib, Andre Fletcher, Alok Kapali, Zakir Ali, Nabil Samad, Ebadat Hossain, Fabian Allen, Mohammad Irfan, Al Amin Hossain, Towhid Hridoy, Afif Hossain and Taskin Ahmed

Sylhet Sixers made some promising signings in this year’s players’ draft as they tried to build a solid team who can challenge for the title. At the beginning of the season, they signed Australian explosive batsman David Warner directly. That will surely cause goose bumps for the fans as Warner is considered one of the best batsmen in the shorter formats. He is also a very good captain with plenty of experience. Pacers Taskin Ahmed, Ebadat Hossian and Al Amin Hossain were picked from the draft. Pakistan pacer Sohail Tanvir was retained and they also picked Mohammad Irfan. So there are plenty of pace options for the Sixers whose coach is, one of the best fast bowlers of all time, Waqar Younis.

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