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Overseas players to watch out for in BPL

Gidron Pope - Rangpur Riders

"We are not going to see anyone more powerful than this kid in this World Cup or the next one" , was how Ian Bishop described Gidron Pope following his blistering knocks at the top of the order in West Indies' title-winning run at the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh earlier this year. The 19-year-old opener struck 232 runs in six innings at an average and strike rate of 38.66 and 107.90 respectively. He is also a livewire on the field, and can pitch in with right-arm offspin.

Mohammad Shahzad - Rangpur Riders

Placed ninth on the ICC rankings in T20 internationals, Afghanistan's Mohammad Shahzad owns the seventh-highest score and second-highest by an Associate player in T20 internationals. Shahzad is not just about brutal leg-side hoicks and the whippy helicopter shots. He is equally capable of lofting the ball in the 'V'. With Sharjeel Khan not receiving a NOC from the PCB and asked to train for the New Zealand tour instead, Shahzad is expected to be Rangpur's key figure.

Tymal Mills - Chittagong Vikings

Tymal Mills is among the most exciting T20 players in the world. He can bowl yorkers or bouncers at speeds north of 90mph. Ask Graeme Swann or Chris Gayle: A 94.5mph bouncer smacked Swann's arm and sent him to the hospital in 2013, while more recently at the NatWest T20 Blast, Mills yorked Gayle with a 93.3mph thunderbolt. He also has a deceptive slower ball, which will probably be more crucial on the sluggish surfaces in Bangladesh.

Having prematurely retired from first-class cricket because of a congenital back condition, Mills hopes to establish himself as a potent force in T20s. He is set to play for Auckland in the Super Smash and Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League later this season.

Nicholas Pooran - Khulna Titans

Wicketkeeper-batsman Nicholas Pooran was all of 17 when he flayed a 24-ball 54 against Guyana Amazon Warriors that had in their ranks Sunil Narine, Veerasammy Permaul, James Franklin and Mohammed Hafeez, in CPL 2013. His breakthrough CPL season, however, arrived in 2016 when he made 217 runs in eight innings at a strike rate close to 200. He went on to make his T20 debut for West Indies in the UAE in September this year, but struggled against spin - or the lack of it - in conditions not conducive to big-hitting. The BPL now gives him a chance to improve his game on this front.

Evin Lewis - Dhaka Dynamites

After scoring his first T20 hundred - 101 not out off 65 balls - in the 2015-16 Bangladesh Premier League, Evin Lewis said: "Chris Gayle is my favorite. I hit a lot of sixes, big sixes like him... it's a dream for me to open with him, and hopefully that will happen". He then replaced his injured idol and struck a 49-ball century, the sixth-fastest in T20Is in Lauderhill in August this year. The knock was studded with nine sixes, including five in a Stuart Binny over.

Liam Dawson - Rangpur Riders

A last-minute addition to the Rangpur squad, England allrounder Liam Dawson struck in each of his first three overs on T20I debut against Sri Lanka in front of his home crowd in Southampton. His figures of 3 for 27 turned out to be the best by a England spinner on T20I debut. In addition to bowling left-arm spin, Dawson can bat anywhere in the line-up. A few sparkling performances in the BPL can help him catch up with Adil Rashid, England's first-choice spinner, in limited-overs cricket.