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Dhaka Tribune

What do Jofra Archer, Nicholas Pooran, and Benny Howell have in common? They got their start with Khulna Titans.

If talent-spotting is the measure of a franchise, then Khulna Titans stand second to none

Update : 15 Feb 2022, 03:53 PM

One of the greatest impacts of the franchise-based cricket leagues around the world is searching out raw talent and give them a stage to shine.

Hence, not only winning trophies but discovering and polishing these uncut diamonds to pure gem can be regarded as a major success for the franchises.

In that regard, Khulna Titans, one of the most prominent franchises in Bangladesh Premier League, may be termed as an unparalleled success story, as they have unearthed and helped launch a veritable conveyor belt of superstar talent into world cricket. 

This was once again evident in the recently concluded mega auction of Indian Premier League Twenty20, the No 1 franchise-based league in the world. 

Fast bowler Jofra Archer, wicketkeeper-batter Nicholas Pooran and all-rounder Benny Howell -- all three who have emerged as among the very biggest names in the format -- were introduced to the world through Khulna Titans, as all of them got their first major breakthrough with the Titans. 

Jofra Archer going for a massive Indian Rupees eight crore to five-time IPL champions Mumbai India was perhaps one of the most exciting picks this year, given the bowling attack the team have formed.

Mumbai zoomed up the charts of those teams who had the best auction with their recruitment of the likes of Archer and Tymal Mills adding to the pace attack alongside the lethal Jasprit Bumrah. 

The importance of Archer would be easily understood knowing the fact that he will be unavailable for the season with injury.

The Mumbai outfit realized it is worthwhile to invest in him for their long-term plan.

Mumbai owner Akash Ambani while explaining his bids spoke about how their coach Mahela Jayawardene, who also coached the Titans, had given Archer his break as an overseas player in T20 leagues -- through BPL 2017.

“Archer has been a player that Mahela gave his first professional debut [as an overseas player] to [with Khulna in BPL] and since then, we have been thinking about them (Bumrah and Archer) as a pair and we’re so happy that we got them together although it’s going to be next year; but we’re very happy to have Jof and Boom make a lethal pair for our bowling attack,” said Akash following the draft in Bangalore Sunday.

Archer in a video message to the Mumbai fans said: “I am super excited to be joining Mumbai. It has been a franchise that was really close to my heart and I always wanted to play for them as long as I could have remembered watching IPL cricket.” 

The West Indies' Pooran for his fourth IPL season started with a base price of INR 1.50 crore, but such was the demand for his services that he was eventually bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for INR 10.75 crore following a bidding war with Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders.

Pooran had also made his maiden appearance in an overseas T20 league through the Titans in 2017.

One of the latest inclusions in the IPL, English cricketer Benny Howell, who was picked up by Punjab Kings at a base price of INR 40 lakhs, also first played in an overseas T20 league in BPL 2016 for the Titans. 

Since then, Howell with his impressive all-round performance has been a regular face in BPL and in the ongoing edition of the tournament for Chattogram Challengers.

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