Bangladesh Premier League 2012-13

Low-key start, local flavour and the catch of the season

A look at the highs and lows from the first week of the Bangladesh Premier League

Mohammad Isam

January 25, 2013

Comments: 12 | Text size: A | A

Shahriar Nafees drives on his way to a century, Khulna Royal Bengals v Duronto Rajshahi, Bangladesh Premier League, Khulna, January 24, 2013
Shahriar Nafees' lone century is one of the high points of the first week of the Bangladesh Premier League © Bangladesh Cricket Board
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An anonymous start
Nabil Samad, an uncapped left-arm spinner, bowling to little-known Josh Cobb to start off the BPL is exactly what happens in a tournament that had lost 25-odd cricketers the day before. It also spoke heavily of the shaky grounds on which everyone stood in Mirpur, Khulna Royal Bengals having barely formed a playing eleven on the morning of the game. Cobb pulled Dollar Mahmud to hit the first six of the tournament before becoming the first wicket of the tournament, falling to the same bowler's yorker.

The local contribution
It was always going to happen and the fact that runs and wickets came from the local cricketers in the early parts of this BPL helped its cause. Shahriar Nafees, Mohammad Ashraful, Jahurul Islam, Nasir Hossain, Shakib Al Hasan, Mosharraf Hossain and Shamsur Rahman have won games for their franchises. The skill among many of the uncapped batsmen that have caught the eye has been their comfort with which they have played fast bowling. If the trend continues, it will be one of the plus points of the BPL.

Nobody's coming
The host broadcasters have so far had a tough time avoiding the swathes of empty stands during matches. In the first three days in Dhaka, the galleries barely filled up but it has been worse in Khulna, a much smaller town, where one match was seen by 50-odd people. The chief reason is being thought to be the ticket prices, which have now been cut down due to the low turnouts. Players have appealed to the public at every opportunity, while at the same time asked the ticketing agent to further reduce the price. The other factor has been the negative perception the tournament has gathered over the past 12 months.

Taposh's dive
Last year's BPL had some of the worst fielding displays, bordering on the bizarre. But this has been a different tournament in that regard, especially after Duronto Rajshahi stole a game from Chittagong Kings with their fielding. Then it was the turn of Taposh Ghosh to grab one out of nowhere. He ran across from deep square-leg 15 yards to his right, and Naeem Islam's top-edge was about to go behind him but he dived and caught the ball with two hands. There weren't many people at the ground but within an hour the clip was up on YouTube.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (January 28, 2013, 17:01 GMT)

@Shehzad:- haha far from it. Its the other way around mate. Crowds are now flocking in and very good matches are on display now plus safe :P

Posted by Zahidul_Mustakim on (January 26, 2013, 9:48 GMT)

One of the many reasons of BPL not drawing crowd is it's pitch. In a T20 match, crowd want to see some run on board and want to see a close finish. But the pitches that the games are being played on are slow, low and turning. Batters are struggling from the beginning, matches are mostly low scoring. BPL really needs some pitches where ball will come to bat nicely so that batters can play their shots. I don't want to say that bowlers should not get anything from pitch rather it will be a slightly batmen friendly, at least ball will come to bat.

Posted by TheBlackMonk on (January 26, 2013, 3:38 GMT)

BCB must address the ticketing issue; for a domestic league the price is still too high!

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (January 25, 2013, 18:53 GMT)

Its the first week, tournament will build as it goes on.

Posted by real26_03 on (January 25, 2013, 16:33 GMT)

There has been some exciting mathces in BPL so far.. And people are finally coming to the stadiums!! And to see Match-Winning Performances from the local players in every match proves that BPL is heading in the right direction!!

Posted by Pickpocket on (January 25, 2013, 16:05 GMT)

Today's is rocking for Bpl. It is going to revolution for some of player like Shahriar na fees. He is playing two extra ordinary match. I think he will carry it on & on.

Posted by   on (January 25, 2013, 11:45 GMT)

Mohammod Isam , You are wrong. We do not go to the stadium simply because we are too busy with our jobs and businesses. Not many old people follows cricket in Bangladesh or want to go to stadium. TV rating is super high as usual. SO the BPL is already a success. More people will go to the stadium , because everyone knows its just simply not possible to go to stadium every day. Everyone wants to go to 1 or 2 days..Just wait few more days.. already today the stadium is packed. Many more matches to come.. And thankfully BPL does not have pakis this time which made it better than last one

Posted by   on (January 25, 2013, 11:14 GMT)

I guess ticket price need to go down to increase number of people attending stadium. BPL organiser need to consider not only tickets price, people need to consider other issues such as food, transport etc.Same things happened in last BPL also. Pak players are not behind it. Quality of matches increased than last year and Musfiqur Rahim plays a very wonderful innings.

Posted by Pickpocket on (January 25, 2013, 9:40 GMT)

Some problem for Pak player withdraw but it will not last long. For high price of ticket no crowd here. But in the field cricket going well & interesting too... I hope it will be rock 4m 2nd week ...... Management should cut off ticket price again for full house

Posted by   on (January 25, 2013, 9:19 GMT)

Destroyed? Far from it, our local players are performing which is the main purpose of BPL. Yea sure audience isn't that much, but that will change soon enough.

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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