Bangladesh Premier League 2012-13 January 12, 2013

BPL teams preview - part I


Khulna Royal Bengals

Without Shakib Al Hasan, Khulna Royal Bengals will not be a team to reckon with. But the presence of some foreign talent (pending availability) could make them the surprise package.

The team's difficulties will arise if the Pakistani players aren't given NOCs, because Khulna are quite dependent on Shoaib Malik, Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal. Ultimately, it will also come down to the local players to put up a good show for the team to win games. Nazimuddin, Shahriar Nafees and Shahadat Hossain will have to play out of their skins, while positive performances from Farhad Reza, Mizanur Rahman, Mithun Ali, Dolar Mahmud, Nabil Samad and Sanjamul Islam will be a bonus.

Key player

Ahmed Shehzad was the highest scorer in the first edition of the BPL, scoring 486 runs. He helped Barisal Burners into the final after Chris Gayle left early. This time, he will have to do a similar job for Khulna, a weaker team on paper than what Barisal were last year.

Major team changes

Shoaib Malik will enter the Khulna dressing room, in place of Shakib Al Hasan. Malik will play a similar role but will be required to be the team's inspiration too, particularly due to the lack of other big players.

Below the radar

Nabil Samad is suited well to Twenty20s, but hasn't quite performed with fire with his brand of fast-ish left-arm spin. He has played regularly in domestic cricket, though has always remained behind the likes of Enamul Haque jnr and Saqlain Sajib. It could be an occasion for the Sylhet spinner to take a step forward which would be welcomed in the Khulna dugout.

Last year's performance


Sylhet Royals

Their ownership wasn't confirmed until the week before the players' auction, so they were quite far behind in terms of planning about their personnel. However, their early acquisition of a strong management will be beneficial for them. It includes Mohammad Salahuddin, the former Bangladesh fielding coach and the man regarded as the guru of Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, who is incidentally the Sylhet Royals captain this time.

There are only two players from Sylhet Division in the squad - medium-pace bowler Nazmul Hossain and opening batsman Imtiaz Hossain - but the likes of Mushfiqur, Sohag Gazi and Mominul Haque will be required to perform for the team to go beyond the first stage.

Among the foreign players, Dwayne Smith, Hamilton Masakadza and Paul Stirling are some of the useful performers, while their Pakistani recruits are relatively unknown. The absence of Andre Russell and Tino Best have hurt the side's chances, but they have included Dirk Nannes - a welcome addition to the pace attack.

Key player

Mushfiqur Rahim will lead this Twenty20 side, and his batting in the middle order will be a much-needed thrust for a line-up that lacks a few big-hitters. His captaincy and wicketkeeping, too, will be vital, especially against the more fancied opponents.

Major team changes

Kamran Akmal was the team's mainstay in the first season, and he will be missed this time around. He has been replaced by Mushfiqur, and the addition of Sohag Gazi has given the team a wicket-taking option.

Below the radar

Imtiaz Hossain has been a regular for Sylhet's first-class side for the past decade. An aggressive opener, Imtiaz will be facing his first major challenge as an experienced cricketer when he goes out to open. Expect good on-side play but as with any Bangladeshi first-class cricketers, he will be susceptible to the short ball.

Last year's performance


Duronto Rajshahi

Duronto Rajshahi are the only team to retain most of their players from last season, in a bid to have continuity in their set-up. The team is rich in local talent, which has been due the presence of Khaled Mashud in the team management.

In addition to Rajshahi locals like Jahurul Islam, Farhad Hossain, Mukhtar Ali and Taijul Islam, they have also acquired Tamim Iqbal, Ziaur Rahman and Abul Hasan, among others.

They have retained Abdul Razzaq, Mohammad Sami, Shahzaib Hassan, Khalid Latif and Sean Ervine from last season. Alex Hales has shown signs of being a potent force in Twenty20s, and is likely to complement Tamim at the top. Their pace attack looks good too, especially with Sami taking the new ball.

Key player

Tamim Iqbal didn't have much to do in the first season, but he will be expected to make up for lost time. Rajshahi would be the beneficiary of a man who has been in form for the past year. He has also done quite well in New Zealand's domestic Twenty20 competition, and will be expected to cut loose for Rajshahi as well.

Major team changes

Mushfiqur Rahim will be missed as captain, batsman and wicketkeeper. But Jahurul Islam can keep wicket, while Tamim and Ziaur Rahman, among the locals, will be handy. Though quite expensive, the inclusion of Abul Hasan could be the surprise package that Rajshahi lacks as he provides pace, yorkers as well as some late-order runs.

Below the radar

With only Mohammad Sami as a major pace-bowling threat in the line-up, it is likely that the other position will be fought over by Abul Hasan and Mukhtar Ali. The latter could be ahead due to his all-round ability, especially as a late-order hitter. Mukhtar has been around for a while in the Bangladesh domestic scene, and more importantly has won major trophies for Rajshahi and in the Dhaka Premier League. He can be handy in tight situations, but it would be a big call to throw him the ball in tight finishes during this tournament.

Last year's performance


Rangpur Riders

They became a separate divisional entity in Bangladesh's domestic cricket in 2011, and played their first first-class game in the 2011-12 season.

Flora Telecom bought the Rangpur franchise but it doesn't seem like they have done much homework to assess the right players to be bought. They haven't filled their foreign quota, and their local picks leave a lot of questions unanswered.

Nasir Hossain is big in local cricket, and will have to pull the team through with middle-order batting, offspin and fielding. Abdur Razzak, Junaid Siddique and Imrul Kayes will have to perform quite well, and ensure that young players like Shamsur Rahman, Taposh Ghosh, Dhiman Ghosh and Mohammad Sharif are not overawed by the BPL glitz.

Their few foreign players appear desperate selections, so it will largely depend on how the international players perform.

Key player

Kevin O'Brien will make his BPL debut and Rangpur have made a wise choice by picking the Irish allrounder. His batting will sometimes be required to tone down because of the lack of options in the line-up, while his seam bowling will be called for regularly.

Below the radar

Shamsur Rahman is to Bangladesh domestic cricket what Mohammad Ashraful has been to international cricket. Inconsistency has been his main problem but when he finds touch, he's one of the best batsmen in the country to watch.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shoaib on January 15, 2013, 22:48 GMT

    As a Bangladesh fan yes I admit as well Ireland, Zimbabwe, Nepal, Scotland, Canada etc have better quality players than Bangladesh and can destroy our team like building blocks damn we have to go below them now very unhappy ;) :P

  • Smith on January 15, 2013, 20:33 GMT

    @Cupid: Thankyou my love, after all, these teams especially Ireland, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe according to many fans and experts believe it or not are better than Bangladesh so might as well recruit them and find ways of working them out somehow. BPL quality or unquality its a Bangladeshi league not a World league, it benefits our players. Thanks for people like you doing the job for us my dear as last year, BPL had hardly any publicity even amongst Bangladeshi's cheers!!!

  • Ikram on January 15, 2013, 19:02 GMT

    @AzAb12754...I agree players from associate countries like Ireland, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Canada, Netherlands, Scotland, even Nepalese players will do. After all BPL is such a quality tournament.... WOW.... I am impressed...

  • Muhammad Rakibul on January 15, 2013, 17:51 GMT

    @ getsetgopk: Yeah. Look at India. IPL is making money but ruining the INDIAN cricket. BPL will help BD to improve in ODIs (2012 Asia Cup & WI series r the proof) & T20 in future. But it won't help them to become a strong side in TEST arena. BCB must focus of FC cricket first then BPL, Dhaka League etc. Otherwise they will remain a Test-minnow, no one will care whether BD will b ODI+T20 tigers or not.

  • Smith on January 15, 2013, 16:11 GMT

    I agree players from associate countries will be a good idea, Ireland, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Canada, Netherlands and Scotland. Even Nepalese players will do.

  • Sami on January 15, 2013, 15:40 GMT

    This is a big chance for players especially the new guys Gazi, Anamul to make the most of its opportunities. They will get a tremendous amount of confidence and be even more confident in the International arena.

  • Nesar on January 15, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    We don't want PAK players in the BPL, rather invite good T20 players from associate countries. Go B U R N E R S Go !!

  • Amjad on January 15, 2013, 15:18 GMT

    what exactly is the use of this hoopla at all? Why cant bangalis focus on first class and develop a real cricket team, a team that has any worth at test level. If countries like SA, Auss, Pak or SL play these kinds of league cricket then they always have a strong domestic circuit to fall back on in case they need technically correct bowlers and batters but what does BD have? Thin air? Playing meaningless T20 that too in domestic cricket has ruined whatever little they had. Does anyone care who wins or loose BPL? What matters is where BD the national team stands among nations in Tests. Too much to ask? Yes perhaps, my personal opinion is that BD is never going to excel in test, they'll win an odd series in Dhaka and Mirpur and play BPL and thats about it.

  • Smith on January 15, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    Tamim will no doubt be the top run scorer this time around. Bangladesh fans should be keeping an eye on players like Anamul and Marshall since they are part of our new plans now.

  • Shoaib on January 15, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    Tamim Iqbal did very well for Wellington recently so hopefully he will be if play all matches be the top run scorer as last season he missed the majority of matches. He scored an unbeaten 93* in his debut at SLPL and 88* against world champions West Indies. He said he worked with former coach in his time at New Zealand to correct his problems and hopefully this is a very good year from him all the best!

  • No featured comments at the moment.