Bangladesh Premier League 2012-13

BPL teams preview - Part II

Mohammad Isam

January 16, 2013

Comments: 27 | Text size: A | A

Barisal Burners

Chris Gayle smashed a 44-ball 101 for Barisal Burners, Barisal Burners v Sylhet Royals, Bangladesh Premier League, Mirpur, February 10, 2012
Chris Gayle's absence will hurt Barisal Burners © BPL T20
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Barisal Burners would hope they retain the luck they enjoyed in the inaugural season of BPL. They head into this year's tournament without last year's big force - Chris Gayle - and would have to bank on some of the effective players they have retained. The local talent, like last season, would have to shine through to enable them to progress to the semi-finals.

Barisal, during the auctions, seemed intent to retain their foreign players; Brad Hodge, Phil Mustard and Kabir Ali were all retained. They would, however, miss the services of Ahmed Shehzad, their top run-getter last year, and Yasir Arafat, their top wicket-taker. Spinners Saeed Ajmal and Sunil Narine, two of their key players, may only play for a week due to international commitments, but allrounder Azhar Mahmood is likely to be available for the whole season.

Among the local players, Mominul Haque is out from the side, but the likes of Alok Kapali, Elias Sunny and Shabbir Rahman are vital additions. All three are allrounders of varying abilities, but the acquirement of Sunny could be profitable, if he displays any of his form from the previous season.

Key player

Brad Hodge made 346 runs for Barisal last year at a strike rate of over 130. He led the team last year, and was famously checking into a flight when he was called up by the management at the last minute to play a semi-final nobody expected Barisal to play.

Major team changes

The biggest game-changer of the BPL is out, and that doesn't bode well for Barisal. The absence of Chris Gayle is a huge blow. Although he was only available for five matches last season, he hammered two centuries and Barisal took an early lead in the competition.

To mitigate Gayle's absence, the Barisal management chose the globe-trotting Azhar Mahmood. The allrounder played for Dhaka Gladiators last season and will be expected to have a major say, particularly with the bat, as it is likely that he will have to bat up the order in this team.

Below the radar

Sabbir Rahman is a lower middle-order hitter who bowls useful legspin, and possesses talent, according to local coaches. Apart from playing a vital role in Bangladesh's Asian Games' gold medal-winning game, however, Sabbir hasn't shown what he is capable of. He will be expected to hit the ball a long way and field well, but it would be a great loss to the man and the team if his bowling is underused.

Last year's performance


Dhaka Gladiators

Tillakaratne Dilshan goes for the cut, Sri Lanka v New Zealand, World T20 2012, Super Eights, Pallekele, September 27, 2012
Tillakaratne Dilshan will replace Imran Nazir to fill in the opener's slot © AFP

The Dhaka Gladiators won the title last season owing to their star power, which they would bank on this season too. They have filled up their squad with some big local and foreign players.

The local strength is led by Shakib Al Hasan and Mashrafe Mortaza, followed by Mohammad Ashraful, Anamul Haque and the in-form left-arm spinner Saqlain Sajib. It will be crucial for these local players to perform, particularly for Shakib, who will be returning to competitive cricket after suffering a shin injury and missing the ODI series against West Indies. Mashrafe has been named captain and will be expected to last the length of the tournament, though he would also have to take the full load as the team is thin on pace-bowling options.

The international stars Shahid Afridi, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Owais Shah and Luke Wright will be in charge of providing the thrust.

Key player

Shakib Al Hasan remains the top billing in this tournament and the race to get him in the side had six out of seven teams tied in a deadlock during the auction. Dhaka won the race by quoting more money, and they would be expecting him to fire with bat and ball. Shakib didn't have a particularly great time for Khulna last season, except for the semi-final in which he managed to turn everyone's attention away from the knockouts controversy with his sublime hitting that almost took his side to the final.

Major team changes

Imran Nazir has moved to Chittagong Kings this season. It will be a blow for Dhaka who will be without their best batsman from last season.

Tillakaratne Dilshan will have to fill in Nazir's opening slot, and that is an effective replacement. Dilshan will also bowl darts with the new ball, his brand of spin that will be highly effective in this format and on these wickets.

Below the radar

Soumya Sarkar came into prominence with a double-century in a regional Under-19 tournament. Though the score came against lowly Qatar, the left-hand batsman is one to look out for. He has opened the batting regularly with Tamim Iqbal last season for Victoria Sporting Club in the Dhaka Premier League, and will be expected to take a step up in this tournament.

Last year's performance


Chittagong Kings

Aftab Ahmed slams one of three sixes against Bengal, Dhaka Warriors v Royal Bengal Tigers, 18th match, ICL, Gurgaon, October 25, 2006
Aftab Ahmed, who hasn't lived up to his potential so far, could be a key player in the Chittagong line-up © ICL

Chittagong Kings would hope luck doesn't desert them, unlike last season, when they were denied a place in the semi-finals at the last moment by the organisers, amid confusion. They have planned well this time, and have a team with many big hitters, but again, would be best advised not to include too many Twenty20 specialists in their line-up like last season.

Some of the smart picks have been Dwayne Bravo, Ravi Bopara, Ryan ten Doeschate, Jacob Oram and Brendan Taylor. Imran Nazir and Wahab Riaz - pending availability - will also be major contributors as will be Jason Roy, the talented English batsman, and their last season's surprise package, Kevon Cooper.

Mahmudullah, Enamul Haque jnr and Aftab Ahmed are important local players, but Chittagong will need contributions from Rubel Hossain, Marshall Ayub and Arafat Sunny if they are to have all-round balance.

Key player

Mahmudullah has always been an underrated player for the national side, but the 2012-13 season has been different for the allrounder. He has played in the Sri Lanka Premier League, withstood a barrage from West Indies' fast bowlers, and played an important role in Bangladesh's ODI series win over them. He is set to lead Chittagong in this tournament again, and his role in picking the right men would be important.

Major team changes

Although he played just two matches, the absence of Tamim Iqbal from the Chittagong line-up will be a tough one to fill. The inclusion of Ravi Bopara will give them batting strength, something that went missing for most of the tournament last year, mainly due to Tamim's absence.

Below the radar

Aftab Ahmed has been away from attention for far too long, particularly for a talented batsman. He played meekly for Dhaka Gladiators last season, and will have a grand stage to bring out his audacious shots. He would hope that his timid nature is not a hindrance.

Last year's performance


Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

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Posted by shovwar on (January 18, 2013, 4:45 GMT)

@ AK47_pk Are you trying to compare the achievements of Pakistan And Bangladesh. Are you crazy? Pakistan played 50 more years of cricket than Bangladesh. In that case Bangladesh has developed pretty well. They have a premier league which could offer a lot to Paki Players. In the whole scenario BD has lost nothing. Its all Pakistan's loss. If you are smart think about it. BD can buy players from other countries for BPL. Its the Paki Players who will miss out. They cant play IPL and now BPL. Pakistan cant even stage their own premier League bcause very few overseas player would go there. No matter how low u think of BD players there lives are not any less expensive than ur Paki Players. Sri Lankans almost died there. Accept your current political situation. We are talking about people's lives here. Its not a joke. PCB should understand that players safety is more important than cricket. I kno BD's withdrawal hurt PCB but they are hurting themselves further by withdrawing from BPL.

Posted by DJyash on (January 18, 2013, 1:14 GMT)

did Afridi change his country?last time i check he is a Pakistani player,if Pakistani players don't play how come Afridi play for Dhaka???

Posted by visionbangladesh1 on (January 17, 2013, 19:32 GMT)

@ browni : shakib is a local player.. hehe

Posted by BD_CricFan on (January 17, 2013, 17:52 GMT)

Oh well!! more opportunities for the local players... just don't forget to pay them on time

Posted by browni on (January 17, 2013, 15:26 GMT)

@LUT4RAHMAN please read this article posted on the 14th of jan.....

Posted by Elluvetti on (January 17, 2013, 6:12 GMT)

why we are fighting,guys? we all know that how much pakistan helped us during our bad time, But its our bad luck that now, in this situation we can't raise our helping hand to pakistan cricket, for the security and also for the unstable political situation,we,the supporters of both country,why we are fighting for????? I wanted to tell all Pakistani fans that you guys dont know how many pakistani fans there in Bangladesh we can check it out in youtube,that how much we support Pakistan Cricket team,but its our fate that we can't help you now,but we need your co-operation. May Allah Bless u all.

Posted by AK47_pk on (January 16, 2013, 21:30 GMT)

@samad. Match with you guys? Tell me wat bd has achieved in world cricket so far? Have u reached in even semis of wc or wct20? Have you won any cup so far? How many tests you won from 70 odds tests. How many matches you won against pakistan since 1999? Im waiting for your answer ;) dnt put pak in same line with bd. Pakistan isnt in minnows league but top league. Look at things wat pakistan have achieved nd wat bd has achieved.

Posted by BOND_OO7 on (January 16, 2013, 20:58 GMT)

PCB just don't know what they have done. PCB just not debarred their's players from BPL 2013 but also for all the seasons to come. Because BCB said there will no pakistani players in upcoming seasons.

Posted by lut4rahman on (January 16, 2013, 20:08 GMT)

some local players may have not been paid fully but all foreign players had been paid fully, just a month ago BCB asked Tim May and he could not say even a single name who has not been paid

Posted by browni on (January 16, 2013, 19:01 GMT)

all you guys are talking about income and all well get your facts right... BPL hasn't played the players from last year.. so plzzz stop talking about this money thing...First pay your own players from last year

Posted by Tokai69 on (January 16, 2013, 18:58 GMT)

To all paki fans, since you're out of BPL, will you get out of BPL game site as well, we don't want to hear neither your advice nor any self deprecating comment. Be happy as PCB did good for your cricket, and comeback next year if lucky to be alive !

Posted by lut4rahman on (January 16, 2013, 15:56 GMT)

we didnt want to see pak players in BPL, they should not make a single penny from it!

Posted by AK47_pk on (January 16, 2013, 15:31 GMT)

So according to bd fans, bpl gave pakistan new stars? How bpl cudnt give stars to bd team? LOl playing 5/6 matches in bpl nd getting selected for pak? Nasir , ahmad nd others who were playing in bpl didnt start their cricket in bpl. They went through pak domestic. Played under 16 under 19 pakistan A nd then went on to play for pakistan. 5/6 matches in bpl might be good enuf for bd selectors but not pak. We have a system in place nd players go through that system to get selected for pak. Ahmad shazad or nasir jamshed are product of that system not bpl lol. Nd they were already on selectors radar nd played few matches for pak nd were in pakistan, s future list. Same like haris sohail is now getting ready to replace misbah for middle order. How come bpl cudnt bring any new bd player out? U hate pakistan nd learning spin from a pakistani lol

Posted by Warm_Coffee on (January 16, 2013, 15:19 GMT)

Can't wait for BPL!!! ICC are deliberately depriving us of Cricket but it won't work 100 million fans support our team everywhere.

Posted by KingMSC on (January 16, 2013, 14:20 GMT)

Good decision from PCB if your going to promise a tour and you should not back away from that promise, Pakistan has done so much form Bangladesh Cricket and in return we get broken Promises. When PCB is in need of help to resume Cricket in Pakistan, Bangladesh is country you expect will show you the same you have them for years. All PCB wanted was for BCB to keep it's promise and tour which BCB backed away from. PCB allowed it's players to participate in BPL when some other nations declined so why did BCB not keep their promise and tour? BCB wants good will in return for broken promise, sorry BCB this is not how things work.

Posted by Samad.Sylhet.Mitali.Raynogor on (January 16, 2013, 13:35 GMT)

BPL rocks!! Poor Pakis playing cricket for many years but still don't get it. Because of BPL our players learned many things from other big international players. Aa a result our asia cup performance and recent series against the world t20 champs. BPL provides better income to the players after the IPL. So to all the messed up pakis out there try to match us first you guys seems to be nowhere.

Posted by raptor7 on (January 16, 2013, 13:18 GMT)

i know that many of u r angry with pcb decision but plz dont embarrass ur self by saying that half of pak team is selcected becuz of bpl......players are selected on performances in domestic circuit not on basis of t20 tounament.....and the quality of pakistan domestic is far more higher than bangladesh ...that is the reason why pakistan produces quality players on consistent basis........

Posted by Samad.Sylhet.Mitali.Raynogor on (January 16, 2013, 13:09 GMT)

BCB learned a good lesson how to deal with the pakis. they proved it again they are a mess and they made mess of things where ever they go. I hope our franchise don't pick any pakis in the future.

Posted by   on (January 16, 2013, 12:56 GMT)

Good Decision by PCB !!! I m glad that Zaka Asraf is doing great sorry for Bengali's no more entertainment from Pakistanis

Posted by masud69 on (January 16, 2013, 12:37 GMT)

Fans makes players superstar, if players do not get exposure they will not be seen by the fans as well as selectors. It is a great loss for pakistani player also for pakistan cricket not playing BPL. Remember Half of the current Pakistan team were chosen after their performance at the BPL

Posted by obaidulmasum on (January 16, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

I don't think the absence of pakistani player actually hurt this tournament. All Pakistani fan and Pakistani cricket board both parties are made a mistake here. As long as tournament runs, people will forget the appeal of pakistani player. People will familiar to watch cricket without their pakistani favorite players. It's actually a great loss for them. I think they will understand it very soon.

Posted by ExtremeSpeed on (January 16, 2013, 11:54 GMT)

Great that there won't be any players from Pakistan well Mahmood and Kabir who are now British but I just did a research that even though Pakistan players will not be playing, there are still 30 foreign players from other countries in BPL so they only need about 10 more especially the 2 franchises that are hit. Besides, payment issues will be a lot simpler now that Pakistan players are not coming so less burden. We still haven't lost any sponsorships or tv stations so that shows BPL is no need of their players and lost only a few thousand viewership big deal. We should also build relationships with teams like Sri Lanka so that we can send our players to their slpl and vice versa and break away from all ties away from Pakistan and move on. 100 million Bangla supporters are enough to take Bangladesh Cricket everywhere.

Posted by ExtremeSpeed on (January 16, 2013, 11:48 GMT)

@counterstrike1.6 - cheers for the good response my friend, we wish India well in its cricketing affairs. Can't wait to see players like Umukht Chand playing for India who along with Anamul, Quinton and Bosisto, are the batsman to watch out for all the best bud.

Posted by arvind.Kejriwal.AAP_A_Better_INDIA_ on (January 16, 2013, 11:32 GMT)

Well being a Neutral fan from India, I would say Pak players' absence might hurt BPL's viewer-ship but that doesn't mean it will a BIG FLOP as some of the Pak fans are claiming. There will still be players from Australia, NZ, WI etc. We need to understand these county leagues are to expose local talent. And the local talent will still be rubbing shoulders with international players. And more importantly BD fans should enjoy watching their Cricketers play and I'm sure they will. I think there are some U-19 lads too in BD who are impressive. Anamul Haque is one of them, I guess.

All the very BEST to BPL.

I hope, more and more local players from BD emerge. Because this is what we (the fans) can expect from such leagues.

Posted by SkylaDark on (January 16, 2013, 11:26 GMT)

Looking forward to a clean tournament. Hopefully the PCB's decision wont affect other teams too much.

Posted by Warm_Coffee on (January 16, 2013, 11:05 GMT)

Only teams that will be affected are Khulna Bengals and one more other whose name I cannot remember but the rest is fine. This also shows that threatening another country will haunt you and I'm glad BCB and franchises said today that Pakistan players will be disbanded from not just BPL but also other domestic tournaments like DPL. Yes its true us Bangladesh fans don't want to see these players from Pakistan and this also means no more tour to Pakistan and send our players to their league so very happy!

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (January 16, 2013, 10:42 GMT)

Excellent! No players from you know where now a lot of money will be saved there was really no need for that many foreign players anyway and from now on, should be cut back from 60 to 40 with none of them from you know where. Also this means that no more tour to you know where and in future BPL, don't have to bother wasting time to sign players from you know where plus other of Bangladesh domestic tournaments like DPL.

This will also mean less problems for BPL and also taught PCB that blackmailing won't be tolerated by anyone including minnow teams :)

Also news broke in that Mohammad Nabi is likely to play in BPL afghan fans so there's some good news for you guys hope more come plus from other countries like Ireland, West Indies, Australia etc.

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Tournament Results
Dhaka v Chittagong at Dhaka - Feb 19, 2013
Dhaka won by 43 runs
Chittagong v Royals at Dhaka - Feb 18, 2013
Chittagong won by 3 wickets (with 5 balls remaining)
Chittagong v Royals at Dhaka - Feb 17, 2013
Match abandoned without a ball bowled
Chittagong v Rajshahi at Dhaka - Feb 16, 2013
Chittagong won by 4 wickets (with 16 balls remaining)
Dhaka v Royals at Dhaka - Feb 15, 2013
Dhaka won by 4 runs
More results »
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News | Features Last 3 days