Bangladesh Premier League 2012 February 15, 2012

BPL hard work for bowlers - Arafat

ESPNcricinfo staff

Yasir Arafat, the Pakistan medium-pacer, has said the Bangladesh Premier League is not an easy tournament for bowlers, and the hectic schedule is something teams need to manage carefully. Arafat, who plays for Barisal Burners, has taken six wickets in four games in the Twenty20 tournament so far, and has an economy-rate of 7.85.

"It's hard work for the bowlers, as the pitches are very batsman friendly and the boundaries are not the largest," Arafat told Pakpassion.net. "Bowlers are thoroughly tested on these sorts of pitches and in this format.

"The matches are coming thick and fast and there is very little time to recover from each match and from injuries. We have recently lost bowler Shane Harwood for the rest of the tournament due to a hamstring injury, so that puts extra responsibility on the other bowlers."

Arafat, who has played in the Champions League Twenty20, for Sussex in 2009, as well as domestic Twenty20 competitions in England, South Africa, New Zealand and Pakistan, said he was impressed with the organisation of the BPL and the support it has received.

"I'm really enjoying playing in Bangladesh; the crowds are fantastic and very enthusiastic about the sport. The passion for cricket in Bangladesh is immense and no doubt such tournaments will raise the profile of the sport further.

"The organisers have done a fantastic job given the short amount of time they had to organise the tournament and, on a personal level, it's great to be playing with and against players from all over the world."

One of the international players who Arafat has had an opportunity to play with is Chris Gayle, who has already made his mark on the BPL with two centuries in four games. "It's wonderful to be playing on the same team as Chris Gayle," Arafat said. "It's also a bit of a relief, as it means I don't have to bowl to him."

Gayle's opening partner at Barisal is Pakistan opener Ahmed Shehzad, who Arafat said has not been overshadowed by Gayle. "Ahmed Shehzad is a fantastic talent, with all the shots. At times he has matched Gayle shot for shot. It's breathtaking watching the two of them bat together."

Arafat said he saw the BPL succeeding in the long term. "This is the first BPL tournament and I'm sure future tournaments will be even bigger and better."

Barisal Burners have won two of their first four games in the BPL and are fourth in the table. Their next game is against Chittagong Kings on February 16.

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