Bangladesh Premier League 2012-13 January 25, 2013

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

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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