A look back at the highs and lows from the third week of the Bangladesh Premier League
The local flavor
The local players have made an impact in the second season of the BPL, compared to last year, when they were inconspicious. In the third week of the competition, seven out of the top ten run-scorers are Bangladeshis.
In the Rangpur Riders-Duronto Rajshahi game on February 4, it was the local players who attracted all the attention. Shamsur Rahman, Junaid Siddique and Nasir Hossain batted merrily for the Riders while Jahurul Islam kept wickets for Rajshahi. Between them, these players were on the field for nearly 15.3 overs. While the Rangpur batsmen batted well, their inability to clear the boundary was also apparent, with just four sixes in the innings. Rajshahi had an easy chase, thanks to a fifty from Tamim Iqbal and an unbeaten 38 from Jahurul.
The bowlers' celebrations have made for the most amusing scenes at the BPL. The most talked about celebrations have come from Khulna bowler Asif Ahmed, who scowls after a wicket. Ahmed was in the news for giving rude send-offs to Sabbir Rahman and Tamim Iqbal.
Against Chittagong, Ahmed took a catch to dismiss captain Brendan Taylor. He promptly turned around and asked for the crowd to quiet down, only to realise that the only audience he had were a group of policemen seated far away in the grandstand.
The close shave
One could sense something was amiss before the Rajshahi-Khulna game. There weren't too many Rajshahi players warming up ahead of the match and the reserve umpire and match referee were lingering around their dressing room, talking to the team owner.
It was soon clear that all was not right with the team as Tamim Iqbal headed out for the toss. He had only done the job in the first two games before Jahurul Islam and Chamara Kapugedera were given the task. Later, Kapugedera confirmed that the players had revolted due to unpaid salaries and had decided to play the game 20 minutes before start of play.
The captaincy mystery
The seven franchises in this year's BPL have been captained by 15 players so far. Mostly, the changes have been due to injury, but in some cases, there have been resignations, lack of enjoyment and even a player revolt.
Duronto Rajshahi has been led by three players - Tamim, Jahurul and Kapugedera -- though the man originally given the onus, Simon Katich, hasn't captained in a single game. Tamim was the captain in the first two games before Jahurul took over. The wicket-keeper batsman struggled and asked the team owner to appoint another captain, after which Kapugedera was given the responsibility.
Mahmudullah suddenly stopped captaining Chittagong Kings, stating that he wasn't enjoying the role. Brendan Taylor took over and has enjoyed moderate success. Towards the end of their campaign, Khulna had a change in leadership, too, when Shahriar Nafees texted his resignation to the team owner, handing over the reigns to Lou Vincent. Alok Kapali led Barisal Burners in the absence of their regular captain, Brad Hodge who arrived in the later stages of the tournament. Abdur Razzak sat out a game for Rangpur Riders due to injury and was replaced by Nasir Hossain and Suharwadi Shuvo, too, led Sylhet Royals in place of the injured Mushfiqur Rahim.
The captaincy switch that had tongues wagging occurred when Mohammad Ashraful led Dhaka Gladiators, in place of Mashrafe Mortaza. The latter claimed he was fully fit, contradicting a statement released by the franchise that he was struggling with back pain.