Mushfiqur, Simmons and Wright boost Rajshahi's batting strength

Mushfiqur Rahim rocks back to cut AFP

Previous season: Runners-up, with eight wins in 15 matches.

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Rajshahi Kings, last year's finalists, have tried to retain the crux of their 2016 squad and most of the senior players. But they have also added Mushfiqur Rahim, Luke Wright and Lendl Simmons which should provide them the batting depth they sometimes missed last year. They were lucky as well, to have the first pick in the draft on September 16, and predictably went after Mustafizur Rahman. But the left-arm fast bowler suffered an ankle injury in South Africa and is likely to miss the first two weeks of the tournament.

Rajshahi's top-order will be manned by Wright, Simmons, Mominul Haque and Mushfiqur while Malcolm Waller, Samit Patel, James Franklin and Raza Ali Dar will be expected to take charge during the middle and end of each innings. They also have Darren Sammy and Farhad Reza for all-round firepower.

Apart from Mustafizur, the bowling rests on the shoulders of Mehidy Hasan, Kesrick Williams, Mohammad Sami, Usama Mir and Nihaduzzaman. Little-known players like Hossain Ali, Naeem Islam Jnr and Qazi Onik also have to be well prepared in case of an emergency call-up.

Key player

Samit Patel was one of nine men retained by the franchise. He played all of their 15 matches last season, scoring 288 runs and picking up 11 wickets. Upon returning home to England, he scored a further 405 runs at a strike-rate of 146 and average of 40 and was a vital member of the Nottinghamshire side that lifted the NatWest T20 Blast title.


Rajshahi have stuck with Sarwar Imran after he delivered almost everything the owners had asked for. He has been coaching BPL sides since the first season in 2012, his knowledge of local talent and his technical expertise are considered useful assets.

One that got away

Rajshahi opted not to renew their contract with Sabbir Rahman, who had top-scored for them last year with 377 runs at a strike-rate of 117.81. While his value as a match-winner is clear - he struck a sensational hundred, off only 53 balls, against Barisal Bulls - off-field issues have dogged him. He was fined 30% of his BPL contract amount for a "serious" breach of code during the Chittagong leg of the tournament in 2016.

Flying under the radar

Zakir Hasan is a young wicketkeeper batsman who impressed playing for Bangladesh Under-19s in the 2016 World Cup. He has also done relatively well in domestic cricket since, and even made it into the Bangladesh A side recently.