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New-look Chittagong Vikings hunt for maiden title

Taskin Ahmed is elated after taking a wicket AFP

Previous season: Knockout phase

Big picture

Chittagong Vikings will be targeting a better finish than last year when they reached the Eliminator, only to be defeated by Rajshahi Kings by three wickets. They will attempt to do this with a completely revamped side that has only three out of the 19 who appeared last season.

Misbah-ul-Haq and Luke Ronchi are their senior overseas players with Liam Dawson and Sikandar Raza expected to beef up the middle order. Soumya Sarkar, marked as the icon cricketer, will have to take care of the top-order with Anamul Haque and Dilshan Munaweera and BPL newcomer Najibullah Zadran.

Among those retained are Taskin Ahmed and Subashis Roy, who will be tasked with leading the pace attack. But it is likely that the spin trio of Sunzamul Islam, Tanbir Hayder and Nayeem Hassan will have a lot more to do on the slow and low pitches of Sylhet, Dhaka and Chittagong.

Key player

Misbah-ul-Haq is available for the entire season and is also likely to lead the side. Misbah's last BPL appearance was in 2015 when he played five games for Rangpur Riders. His T20 performance this year isn't eye-catching, having made just one half-century in the PSL.

Coach

Nurul Abedin, the former Bangladesh batsman, will be Chittagong's coach this season. It will be Abedin's first time as head coach of a BPL team, having spent many years coaching in Chittagong, which included stints with the first-class side. He will be assisted by Mahbub Ali Zaki.

One that got away

Tamim Iqbal was Chittagong's highest run-getter in the previous season, which prompted Comilla Victorians to offer him a lucrative deal.

Below the radar

Luis Reece, the 27-year old English batsman, is an unknown quantity in the BPL but he has done well in this year's NatWest t20 Blast for Derbyshire. He made 433 runs in 14 innings at a strike-rate of 137.89. He was one of Chittagong's picks in the draft held in September.

Squad

Luke Ronchi, Liam Dawson, Sikandar Raza, Dilshan Munaweera, Misbah-ul-Haq, Najibullah Zadran, Luis Reece, Soumya Sarkar, Taskin Ahmed, Anamul Haque, Subashis Roy, Sanjamul Islam, Al Amin, Alauddin Babu, Tanbir Hayder, Irfan Sukkur, Nayeem Hasan, Yasir Arafat