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Rajshahi, Khulna return with balance

Shakib Al Hasan will be the key for Dhaka as they push for a first title as the Dynamites Associated Press

Dhaka Dynamites

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Dhaka will bank on the experience of Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Shakib Al Hasan in their bid for the BPL title for the first time as the Dynamites franchise. They have a good mix of allrounders and big-hitters in the side including Evin Lewis, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo and Ravi Bopara while among the local players, Nasir Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain and Sanjamul Islam will be be crucial.

The likes of Mehedi Maruf, Irfan Sukkur and Mohammad Shahid would ultimately have to balance out the side, and their contribution could end up being the difference between a champion side and one that doesn't go through to the last four.

Position in BPL 3

Fourth

Key player

Dhaka has an experienced squad with Jayawardene and Sangakkara in the mix, but it will be Shakib Al Hasan whose T20 skills and experience will be vital to their title push.

Coach

Khaled Mahmud will once again have to juggle his many roles in Bangladesh cricket, after being appointed head coach of the Dynamites. He has had recent success, domestically, leading Abahani Limited to their 18th Dhaka Premier League title last season.

One that got away

The absence of Mustafizur Rahman could be hard to fill. Mustafizur was an important part of Dhaka's progress last season, but is out injured this time. It will be up to Wayne Parnell and Mohammad Shahid to fill his shoes. It won't be easy.

Below the radar

Tanveer Haider is an experienced first-class cricketer but this will be a chance for him to showcase his batting and leg-spinning abilities on a bigger stage. He impressed in the practice match against England last month, and it is known that Bangladesh team management is quite keen on his development.

Rajshahi Kings

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The Rajshahi team returns after missing the 2015 tournament, this time with a new owner and a new monicker - the Kings. They have picked some experienced overseas players like Darren Sammy, Mohammad Sami and Samit Patel, while Upul Tharanga and Milinda Siriwardana will also be important contributors when they eventually join the team.

There will be a lot of interest in Mehedi Hasan, who won the man-of-the-series award in his debut Test series against England. He will have to contribute with the bat too for Rajshahi, while the likes of Mominul Haque, Sabbir Rahman, Farhad Reza and Rony Talukdar would also have to step up to get them into the last four.

Key player

Sabbir Rahman will once again be the most important player for his franchise, and Rajshahi would like him to come to the party, like he did for Barisal last season. Sabbir's effervescence in the field would also be important for the new franchise as they look for momentum from the get-go.

Coach

Veteran Sarwar Imran will be in charge of the Rajshahi franchise this year. He was with the Barisal and Sylhet teams in previous BPL editions and delivered mixed results. But he is regarded as a quality coach in the Bangladesh scene, having also worked with the senior team on a number of occasions.

Below the radar

Ebadot Hossain has been attracting attention since he emerged out of the Pacer Hunt programme earlier this year. A Bangladesh Air Force employee, Ebadot has pace to burn and impressed in the practice match against England, and the High Performance programme.

Khulna Titans

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Khulna is another BPL returnee franchise, having missed the previous edition. They return as the Titans, and have put together a balanced squad with Mahmudullah leading some BPL veterans like Kevon Cooper and Lendl Simmons, and a few talented first-timers like the big-hitting Hasanuzzaman and fast bowler Abdul Halim.

Benny Howell, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Asghar and Ben Laughlin are interesting picks in the bowling department while among the local players, Alok Kapali would provide some meat in the middle-order.

Key player Khulna would be keen to see Mahmudullah bring the same verve into their franchise as he did for Barisal Bulls last season. His changed batting approach and recent transformation as Bangladesh's finisher in the shortest format will fit into his team's plans.

Coach

Stuart Law returns to Bangladesh cricket after helping the Under-19 team to their first semifinal at the World Cup, earlier this year. This will be his second BPL stint as head coach, having been in charge of the (now defunct) Sylhet Royals in 2012. Law's knowledge of Bangladeshi players will go well with his own experience as an ex-international.

Below the radar

Youngster Hasanuzzaman played only a few matches for Kalabagan Krira Chakra in the Dhaka Premier League last season but he did enough to impress Mashrafe Mortaza. Now he will be playing for Khulna after also performing well for ULAB in a T20 university-level tournament in Sri Lanka recently.

Rangpur Riders

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It is an exciting squad, particularly in the top order with Mohammad Shahzad, Sharjeel Khan, Soumya Sarkar, Nasir Jamshed and Gidron Pope in the mix. The likes of Babar Azam, Shahid Afridi, Dasun Shanaka and Rubel Hossain will also be heavily relied upon, though fitting in so many big-hitters may become a selection issue.

Local players like Sohag Gazi and Ziaur Rahman would remain in contention though Elias Sunny and Muktar Ali also have decent experience playing T20s.

Position in BPL 3

Third

Key player

If Mohammad Shahzad gets in his groove, the BPL could become entertaining. The Afghanistan opener is a big hitter, and will be itching to give a good performance in his first BPL. His wicketkeeping will also be handy.

Coach

It raised a few eyebrows when Rangpur announced former Bangladesh batsman Javed Omar as their head coach, particularly given his lack of experience at this level. But Javed is a character who has served Bangladesh cricket for a very long time, and his inclusion in the BPL is welcome.

One that got away

Shakib Al Hasan will certainly be their biggest missing star this season, and they will have to make up for it with the combination of their overseas and local players. Shahid Afridi's involvement will be key.

Below the radar

There might be a case for Pinak Ghosh to get a few games, given his immense talent as an opener, but a top-order place could be hard to find for this youngster. He will be well-served by the experience of mingling with some of the most experienced players in the world.