Bangladesh Premier League 2012 February 1, 2012

Associate players eyeing BPL platform

Tariq Engineer and Mohammad Isam
  shares 24

The IPL has not been a fertile hunting ground for players from the Associate nations, with Netherlands allrounder Ryan ten Doeschate the sole owner of an IPL contract to this point. The Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), however, stands to be a different proposition. A league rule required each of the six franchises to buy at least one player from an Associate country, a nod to Bangladesh's own history as an Associate.

The players who were snapped up at the player auction earlier this month were Alex Kervezee (Netherlands), Kyle Coetzer (Scotland), Rizwan Cheema (Canada), Niall O'Brien (Ireland), Hamid Hassan (Afghanistan) and Freddie Klocker (Denmark). For them, the league is an opportunity to showcase their talents alongside international stars and in front of packed stadiums.

"This is kind of the world stage," Cheema told ESPNcricinfo. "Playing with international players, all the top players from around the world, it is a big chance for the associate players to show their abilities."

Cheema hammered 93 off 71 balls against England in a practice match before the 2011 World Cup to become an instant star in Dhaka. He was bought by Duronto Rajshahi for US$25,000. Their coach, Khaled Mashud, said Cheema was captain Mushfiqur Rahim's choice. "He is a good all-round cricketer and though we had some options on the table, we went for him," Mashud said. Cheema will be playing alongside the likes of West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels, Pakistan allrounder Abdul Razzaq and South Africa legspinner Imran Tahir. He said the tournament will be a great way to get vital experience before the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 qualifiers in March, where he will be Canada's vice-captain. "There is a lot to learn because there are so many people coming from all over the world."

The BPL is expected to draw big crowds for its first season and Cheema, who averages 30 at a strike rate of 121.38 from eight Twenty20 internationals, said that playing in front of a lot of people would be great motivation. "It gives you more energy and it really, really excites you. You want to do well when you see a lot of people around. It gives me more confidence."

At 22, Alexei Kervezee is the youngest of the Associate country players to be bought. Despite his relative youth, he has already played two World Cups and has played with Bangladesh allrounder Shakib Al Hasan at Worcestershire. He was bought by Dhaka Gladiators for $35,000. "Kervezee is a stable middle-order batsman and a good team-mate," Shihab Chowdhury, one of the franchise's owners, said. "He was recommended by our coach Ian Pont, who was with the Dutch team a few years ago."

Among Kervezee's team-mates are West Indies allrounder Kieron Pollard, Pakistan offsinner Saeed Ajmal and former Australia legspinner Stuart MacGill, and he said he was looking forward to picking their brains. "Being team-mates with proven high quality players of the likes of Ajmal, MacGill and Pollard, people like that, I can take advantage of that to become a better player. I think it will help me become an overall better player in Twenty20 cricket."

Lurking in the background, is, of course, the possibility of an IPL contract should any of the players excel. "You want to do well so the people can see you," Cheema said. "If you do well, you might get a chance to play for the IPL."

Beyond the potential monetary rewards though, the BPL gives the Associate players a chance to hone their skills in a different part of the world. "That's the professional life," Cheema said. "Go and play in different countries and with different types of players. Makes you stronger mentally, and technically too."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Mayan_Mahbub on | February 4, 2012, 20:41 GMT

    The decision of BCB shows dat the heart of bangladesh is much bigger.... I just hope Bpl will bring glory to Bangladesh and slap on the face of the people who criticized Bpl...Best of luck....

  • POSTED BY on | February 4, 2012, 17:41 GMT

    This decision of Bangladesh cricket board shows dat It has a big heart.... Great job BPL.....Great job Bangladesh!!! I am looking for a great show..... I hope it will slap on face of the people who have criticized bpl and Bangladesh cricket.....

  • POSTED BY reyme on | February 3, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    @ Sir_Freddie_Flintoff : ICL-->IPL-->BPL

    BPL is shaping up to be a good tournament, right after IPL. I am sure Associate players will have a great show. Was looking forward to see Ryan Ten D. and Kevin O'Brien.

  • POSTED BY Sarfin on | February 3, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    You know what is the best outcome of BPL??? It proves, only big heart is required to show commitment. Go ahead Bangladesh and Associates. Play for passion.

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    BPL will give more positives than IPL to the international cricket...bcoz BPL teams r going to be a blend of international players & associate players without any significant biasing...associate players will surely learn a lot from the international players...

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2012, 4:53 GMT

    well done Bangladesh, would be great if the ICC and other full members could continue with this kind of goodwill to the associate countries.

  • POSTED BY Yolk_Eater on | February 2, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    What about Kevin O'brien? And those who are saying that Bangladesh is better than India and that India do not care for cricket, my sincere request to them is that please don't use the word INDIA. Its BCCI's fault, not India's.

  • POSTED BY on | February 2, 2012, 12:23 GMT

    its good decision by bangladesh cricket board. i support it. associate country also have some good player.

  • POSTED BY realist1 on | February 2, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    Good luck to all the players from associate countries. Hope they get maximum chances to participate and show their skills at the top level. Congratulations to Bangladesh for including them. Unfortunately India will never respect the players from lesser countries no matter how good they are!! So I see very little chance for these players to participate in the IPL even if they excel in the BPL.

  • POSTED BY on | February 2, 2012, 9:09 GMT

    On a personal note, Rizwan Cheema's reputation as a big hitter is a big overstatement. He only has the one shot - the swipe - and zero temperament. There are better and more effective batsmen in the Canadian squad itself, namely Hiral Patel and Ruvindu Gunasekera (who has had a good stint of domestic cricket in Sri Lanka recently). Having said that, Cheema will be well worth the bucks if he somehow manages to connect a few balls and gets in a zone.

    Always appreciate pieces on the Associates - thank you Mohammad Isam and Tariq Engineer.

  • POSTED BY Mayan_Mahbub on | February 4, 2012, 20:41 GMT

    The decision of BCB shows dat the heart of bangladesh is much bigger.... I just hope Bpl will bring glory to Bangladesh and slap on the face of the people who criticized Bpl...Best of luck....

  • POSTED BY on | February 4, 2012, 17:41 GMT

    This decision of Bangladesh cricket board shows dat It has a big heart.... Great job BPL.....Great job Bangladesh!!! I am looking for a great show..... I hope it will slap on face of the people who have criticized bpl and Bangladesh cricket.....

  • POSTED BY reyme on | February 3, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    @ Sir_Freddie_Flintoff : ICL-->IPL-->BPL

    BPL is shaping up to be a good tournament, right after IPL. I am sure Associate players will have a great show. Was looking forward to see Ryan Ten D. and Kevin O'Brien.

  • POSTED BY Sarfin on | February 3, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    You know what is the best outcome of BPL??? It proves, only big heart is required to show commitment. Go ahead Bangladesh and Associates. Play for passion.

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    BPL will give more positives than IPL to the international cricket...bcoz BPL teams r going to be a blend of international players & associate players without any significant biasing...associate players will surely learn a lot from the international players...

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2012, 4:53 GMT

    well done Bangladesh, would be great if the ICC and other full members could continue with this kind of goodwill to the associate countries.

  • POSTED BY Yolk_Eater on | February 2, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    What about Kevin O'brien? And those who are saying that Bangladesh is better than India and that India do not care for cricket, my sincere request to them is that please don't use the word INDIA. Its BCCI's fault, not India's.

  • POSTED BY on | February 2, 2012, 12:23 GMT

    its good decision by bangladesh cricket board. i support it. associate country also have some good player.

  • POSTED BY realist1 on | February 2, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    Good luck to all the players from associate countries. Hope they get maximum chances to participate and show their skills at the top level. Congratulations to Bangladesh for including them. Unfortunately India will never respect the players from lesser countries no matter how good they are!! So I see very little chance for these players to participate in the IPL even if they excel in the BPL.

  • POSTED BY on | February 2, 2012, 9:09 GMT

    On a personal note, Rizwan Cheema's reputation as a big hitter is a big overstatement. He only has the one shot - the swipe - and zero temperament. There are better and more effective batsmen in the Canadian squad itself, namely Hiral Patel and Ruvindu Gunasekera (who has had a good stint of domestic cricket in Sri Lanka recently). Having said that, Cheema will be well worth the bucks if he somehow manages to connect a few balls and gets in a zone.

    Always appreciate pieces on the Associates - thank you Mohammad Isam and Tariq Engineer.

  • POSTED BY Third_Gear on | February 2, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    Sir_Freddie_Flintoff : As innovative as IPL

  • POSTED BY on | February 2, 2012, 6:34 GMT

    Bangladesh is a great country not like India.bcos BPL give chance associate cricket country players for their best form show but IPL don't give chance. Bangladesh Play but India like Money. Go BPL GO........

  • POSTED BY v_singh on | February 2, 2012, 5:58 GMT

    T20 cricket is helping players from associate countries and domestic tournaments to get better exposure. Cricket's popularity would increase with this (base expanded) and hopefully would not be confined to the 8 - 10 nations. Unpredictibilty of T20 (minnows have a chance to win too) helps in its spread too unlike test cricket where actual skills are tested and hence req. much more dedication and expertize - something which (cash strapped) associate nations find hard to acheive..

  • POSTED BY The_big_j on | February 2, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    BBL will be dominated by Pakistani cricketers as was ICL and BCCI will cry to ICC to get it banned...

  • POSTED BY OttawaRocks on | February 2, 2012, 3:21 GMT

    Yes Bangladesh - thank you for picking a player from my country (Canada). That means I'll be cheering for Duronto Rajshahi this season!

  • POSTED BY on | February 1, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    Bangladesh has shown that money was not their primary concern unlike IPL. This is a great move by BCB to also garner support from associate countries and showing ICC that Bangladesh is willing to take initiatives to improve cricket. BCB didnt have to do this but the fact that they did is a laudable effort. Congrats!!

  • POSTED BY on | February 1, 2012, 20:10 GMT

    I'm surprised the IPL don't buy associate cricketers. It's a cheap way to get some skilled cricketers, could pay them on the lowest scale, probably won't be outbid, and there are loads of talented players out there too...

  • POSTED BY serious-am-i on | February 1, 2012, 18:47 GMT

    yea its not perfect but it could help these guys train & play against better quality bowlers and batsmen compared to BPL.

  • POSTED BY on | February 1, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    This was a good decision by BCB to involve the Associate country players.

  • POSTED BY AJ_Tiger86 on | February 1, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    BPL.... what an innovative name indeed!

  • POSTED BY on | February 1, 2012, 17:31 GMT

    An IPL for Associates, eh? It's not perfect, but it's probably the best chance a lot of these fringe players have of making it as cricketers.

  • POSTED BY on | February 1, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    Kavin o'brain also gud choice. Asad vala also gud

  • POSTED BY M_Rakibul_Islam on | February 1, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    It's an outstanding platform for Associate player to get attention of Elite Nations of Cricket. They can gather experience of playing on spinning wicket of the Sub-continent which is a much valuable thing. They can increase their skill especially against spin. Hope they can excel whenever they get any chance to per4m there.

  • POSTED BY serious-am-i on | February 1, 2012, 15:31 GMT

    Its a good move by BCB, I wish IPL do some thing as it would be a better platform for the players or the BBL. I wish the best of luck to these players

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  • POSTED BY serious-am-i on | February 1, 2012, 15:31 GMT

    Its a good move by BCB, I wish IPL do some thing as it would be a better platform for the players or the BBL. I wish the best of luck to these players

  • POSTED BY M_Rakibul_Islam on | February 1, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    It's an outstanding platform for Associate player to get attention of Elite Nations of Cricket. They can gather experience of playing on spinning wicket of the Sub-continent which is a much valuable thing. They can increase their skill especially against spin. Hope they can excel whenever they get any chance to per4m there.

  • POSTED BY on | February 1, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    Kavin o'brain also gud choice. Asad vala also gud

  • POSTED BY on | February 1, 2012, 17:31 GMT

    An IPL for Associates, eh? It's not perfect, but it's probably the best chance a lot of these fringe players have of making it as cricketers.

  • POSTED BY AJ_Tiger86 on | February 1, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    BPL.... what an innovative name indeed!

  • POSTED BY on | February 1, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    This was a good decision by BCB to involve the Associate country players.

  • POSTED BY serious-am-i on | February 1, 2012, 18:47 GMT

    yea its not perfect but it could help these guys train & play against better quality bowlers and batsmen compared to BPL.

  • POSTED BY on | February 1, 2012, 20:10 GMT

    I'm surprised the IPL don't buy associate cricketers. It's a cheap way to get some skilled cricketers, could pay them on the lowest scale, probably won't be outbid, and there are loads of talented players out there too...

  • POSTED BY on | February 1, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    Bangladesh has shown that money was not their primary concern unlike IPL. This is a great move by BCB to also garner support from associate countries and showing ICC that Bangladesh is willing to take initiatives to improve cricket. BCB didnt have to do this but the fact that they did is a laudable effort. Congrats!!

  • POSTED BY OttawaRocks on | February 2, 2012, 3:21 GMT

    Yes Bangladesh - thank you for picking a player from my country (Canada). That means I'll be cheering for Duronto Rajshahi this season!