Bangladesh Premier League 2012 March 1, 2012


Eleven players who stood out in the inaugural Bangladesh Premier League

Ahmed Shehzad
12 matches, 486 runs, average 48.60, one 100, four 50s

A figure of $50,000 seemed a little too much next to Ahmed Shehzad's name when Barisal Burners picked him. But 486 runs later, it seems like a steal given what several more expensive players have done.

Shehzad slammed four fifties in the league stage but his contributions were telling and crucial after Chris Gayle left. He struck 60 in the next innings and followed it up with important contributions. In the semi-final, Shehzad was on fire, hitting 113 off just 49 balls. When he got out in the final, it was half the game won for the Dhaka Gladiators.

Chris Gayle
5 matches, 288 runs, average 96.00, two 100s

India, Australia and Zimbabwe had seen what the Twenty20 version of Chris Gayle was like, so it was Bangladesh's turn to duck and weave in the stands.

A poor opening ceremony followed by a very low turnout greeted the BPL but Gayle rescued the whole situation with a stunning show of six-hitting seldom seen in this part of the world.

That 44-ball 101 was followed by two innings of equal brutality but not length. He followed those up with another century, his second in four matches, a 61-ball 116 with 11 sixes.

He left Dhaka limping on an unbeaten 30 after pulling his hamstring; Gayle's exits from Dhaka haven't always been rosy.

Brad Hodge
12 matches, 346 runs, average 43.25, three 50s

A player into semi-retirement often takes the backseat and lets the youngsters run the show but Brad Hodge took charge.

Having taken over the captaincy from Shahriar Nafees midway through the tournament, the former Australia batsman scored plenty and scored them quickly. Barisal Burners played with a weakened middle order as Shehzad, Hodge and Mustard had to do the bulk of the scoring after Gayle's departure.

More than his three fifties (one of which was the vital one against Chittagong in the return leg), Hodge's most telling contributions were the three century partnerships he was involved in.

Shakib Al Hasan
11 matches, 280 runs, average 40.00, 1 50, 15 wickets, economy-rate 7.11

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realise that Shakib Al Hasan is the most professional cricketer in Bangladesh.

And this tournament has been yet another opportunity for him to further his captaincy ambitions. With the Khulna Royal Bengals reaching the last four, Shakib did a good job handling a multi-national team but it was the weight of his performance that won him the Man-of-the-Tournament car.

Before his fighting half-century in the semi-final which ended in his side losing the game to Dhaka Gladiators, Shakib's final over against Sylhet showed why every coach says the same thing about him, that he can walk into any team in the world.

Mushfiqur Rahim
11 matches, 234 runs, average 39.00, 1 50

The national captain was in charge of Duronto Rajshahi, a team that had enough talent to become champions. They, however, made a poor start, especially by dropping too many catches.

Mushfiqur regrouped his troops and let the bigger names like Abdul Razzaq and Marlon Samuels play their own game.

The younger lot responded and when the wins started to come, Mushfiqur started to score too. His half-century in the semi-final looked good enough for a Man-of-the-Match award but Rajshahi ran into a rampant Barisal and Shehzad did the damage.

Mohammad Ashraful
12 matches, 258 runs, average 28.66, 1 50

Mohammad Ashraful has been heavily criticised for his form with the national team in recent times but he did have some happy moments during the BPL.

He wore the pink cap for much of the three weeks for taking the most number of catches and danced almost each time he took one in the latter stages. He batted well in patches, and even got to a fifty. At least in this tournament, he wasn't totally inconsistent.

He ended BPL as the second-highest run-getter among the Bangladesh players after Shakib, an achievement of sorts for a batsman who hasn't done anything of note of late.

Azhar Mahmood
11 matches, 298 runs, average 33.11, 2 50s, 9 wickets, economy-rate 8.29

One of the pivotal players in the Dhaka Gladiators' march to the trophy was Azhar Mahmood, who brought the weight of his 19-year experience spanning ten teams across the world to the Gladiators dressing-room.

Mahmood batted at No 3 and stabilised a line-up that had too many attacking options. He struck two half-centuries and scored at a fair clip. He picked up nine wickets but was a tad expensive at times.

Elias Sunny
12 matches, 17 wickets, average 14.88, economy-rate 6.71

Regarded as one of the most valued domestic cricketers, Elias Sunny did himself a huge favour by performing impressively.

The wickets didn't come on days when Mosharraf Hossain, the other left-arm spinner, dominated the bowling. He bowled a good spell once in a while but was persisted with, especially due to his batting ability when the team had to choose between him and Mosharraf.

Eventually he had better figures than Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal in the semi-final, though remained wicketless in the final. Despite that, he is the joint highest wicket-taker alongside the next man and won the best local player award in the BPL.

Mohammad Sami
11 matches, 17 wickets, average 15.76, economy-rate 6.51

The last time he played for Pakistan was two years ago, so when he bowled with pace and bagged wickets wickets for Gazi Tank Cricketers in the Dhaka Premier League, people sat up and took notice.

He was rewarded a place in the Duronto Rajshahi squad. After some wicketless games and much coaxing from Razzaq, Sami burst into action with a hat-trick, the tournament's first and only.

He also had the tournament's only five-wicket haul, a brilliant 5 for 6 against Dhaka in the last league game of the BPL.

Mashrafe Mortaza
11 matches, 10 wickets, average 27.40, economy-rate 6.85

Finishing the tournament unscathed was Mashrafe Mortaza's biggest challenge when Dhaka Gladiators belatedly picked him for only $45,000 at the auction after his home side Khulna didn't go for him. He had to prove himself by playing. Ending the tournament as the captain of the title-winners will be of special significance for Mashrafe.

He was also in the news for reporting to his franchise an approach from a fellow cricketer regarding potential spot-fixing and a committee was subsequently formed to look into the matter.

Enamul Haque
9 matches, 13 wickets, average 14.46, economy-rate 6.26

Enamul Haque, a left-arm spinner, needed this tournament as a springboard for future national selection. And he used it quite well.

With 13 wickets, some match-winning ones, in nine games for the Chittagong Kings, Enamul might find himself back in the Bangladesh fold sometime this year.

In the race of the left-arm spinners, Enamul is leading but with so many of them around, he has to keep doing well to hold on to his place.

Mohammad Isam is senior sports reporter at the Daily Star in Dhaka

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 4, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    I think this is some what a good eleven. Still i am not agree with ashraful & Mushfiq rather they could have been replaced by Dwine Smith/Peter Trego & Kamran Akmal. Obviously SHAKIB AL HASAN the man can lead the team.

  • Dummy4 on March 3, 2012, 3:16 GMT

    very bad no iman nazir man of final this is poor very poor and shahid afridi is also miss

  • Shulz Van on March 2, 2012, 21:55 GMT

    @ghaleecha...Imran Nazir is the third best opener after Gayle and Shahzad in this doubt about his contrbutions to Dhaka...Buttt ...Gayle and Shahzad were just unbelievable...But they did not have a good back up in Barisal..If Gayle stayed it could have been different though. And Ashraful has nothing to do with Imran Nazir...Nazir definitely did better than Ashraful, but Nazir is an opener and he was competing against Shazad and Gayle for his spot, not the no.6 spot with Ashraful. Ashraful did well enough for his spot....Best XI is picked by balance and the best man for a particular position. You Cannot pick Dilshan, Sehwag, Gibbs, Gayle together in 1 team (for Example). This BPL team is balanced and perfect. They seems to do their homework right I guess you missed out on it.

  • Dummy4 on March 2, 2012, 15:15 GMT

    Good Selection...!!! May be there would some confusion for the inclusion taking 2 spot. I will prefer D. Smith than B. Hodge and A. Russel than M. Sami, as I feel they proved themselves more as match winner. And really sorry for Imran Nazir, after impressive performance still he could not find himself in BPL XI like what he is facing in case of Pakistan team.

  • Ali on March 2, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    hahaha what a joke ! u call this a BPL XI??? ashraful ? lol DR Smith, Chanderpaul, Trego all scored more than him and if some bangalis r trying to justify the selection by claiming that the players suggested by others were openers or bla bla and they can never play at any other spot then whats wrong with those that I mentioned???... and mushfiq is I think a wicketkeeper as well.. y not play kamran akmal instead of him?? kamran scored alot more runs and is a much superior keeper and can bat at any spot..... and look at the bowlers .. mortaza is on the 14th spot in the top bowlers of BPL and he is in the team hahaha what happened to other bowlers? r they suffering from lose motions? may be thats y they cant play

  • Dummy4 on March 2, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    how can u guys say thaat nazir shud hav been the "actual man of the tournament"???? just compare the statistics with SHAKIB AL HASAN

  • Dummy4 on March 2, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    Great team. Imran Nazir or Kamran Akmal doesn't make it, because the opening has been filled up by better players like Gayle and Shehzad, who can also bowl.

    Let's remember, we're not listing 11 players, we're making a team. Each player here complements the overall team.

    Shakib would be my pick for captain, with Mushy as vice captain.

  • Muhammad Rakibul on March 2, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    Good selection by Isam. No wonder to see a Dhaka (4) & Barisal (3) heavy XI as they reached final. The XI showed how dominant slow left arm spinners were in BPL! 3 left arm spinners are accompanied by only 2 regular seamers (Sami & Mash). Kamran, Nazir & Jamshed are bit unlucky as they had to compete with Gayle & Shehzad for opening spots.

  • Dummy4 on March 2, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    It is actually a best 11 of BPL.

  • Dummy4 on March 2, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    I like this selection,the best 11 are here,but Imran Nazir,Dwayne Smith,Anamul Haque Bijoy,Andre Russel,Ziuar Rahman would be here.......

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