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February 7, 2012
Big PictureThe most expensive BPL franchise does not have a lavish set of players. The owners of Chittagong Kings, SQ Sports, wisely handed over the team's reins to the coach Khaled Mahmud, the former Bangladesh captain who is now the most sought-after team builder in domestic cricket.
The spinner- and batsman-heavy nature of the Kings squad is a Mahmud trademark, a no-nonsense approach on Bangladesh pitches that offer low bounce and limited turn. Tamim Iqbal and Nasir Jamshed are the side's attacking batsmen, while Pakistan's Shoaib Malik will be expected to use the momentum from the Dhaka Premier League to make important contributions. Jahurul Islam is the in-form local batsman and will give the middle order solidity, while Ziaur Rahman and Shamsur Rahman will add firepower.
Ultimately a lot will depend on Dwayne Bravo and the captain Mahmudullah, allrounders who will play key roles towards the middle and end of the Twenty20 matches.
Muttiah Muralitharan, Enamul Haque and Jerome Taylor will be the attacking bowling options, while Arafat Sunny and Sanjamul Haque will be expected to contain. Lendl Simmons will share wicketkeeping duties with Jahurul, a balance that could work wonderfully for the franchise.
Star AttractionThe success of the Kings could depend largely on Tamim Iqbal's form. Among the two top names in Bangladesh cricket, the left-hand opener is a potential match-winner in this format. Tamim, however, hasn't had the best of times of late. He's suffered from poor form, injury and the odd controversy. A tournament like this could wake him from the slumber with the bat.
Top playerOne of the top players in the Twenty20 market, Dwayne Bravo can be powerful with the bat, accurate with the ball and athletic in the field. In a team reliant on spin, Bravo could turn out to be the only seam option.
Below the radarJahurul Islam is having a dream run in the Dhaka Premier League, scoring two centuries for Victoria Sporting Club before the BPL player auction. He ended up being one of three local cricketers to attract six-figure bids and the competition for the wicketkeeper-batsman was justifiable. His valuation of $110,000, higher than experienced local players like Faisal Hossain and Enamul Haque, was also not much of a surprise. Jahurul's exclusion from the national side had baffled many and some runs in the BPL should be enough to secure his place.
Mohammad Isam is senior sports reporter at the Daily Star in DhakaFeeds: Mohammad Isam
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