BPL round-up: Shakib's outbursts, a DRS mishap, and Sylhet's impressive start
A round-up of the first week of BPL 2022-23, which had an almost even serving of interesting cricket and on-field drama
The first week of BPL 2022-23 had an almost even serving of interesting cricket and on-field drama. Here's a round-up of the first ten games.
Shakib Al Hasan's outbursts, and a DRS dramaIt all started on the second day when Soumya Sarkar refused to walk off the field during Dhaka Dominators' match against Khulna Tigers despite being given lbw by both the on-field and TV umpire. He kept insisting that the ball hit his gloves, forcing the umpires to go back to the TV umpire to check again. Sure enough, the decision changed as replays suggested that the ball did touch his gloves. The Khulna fielders were not happy with the decision. They started to protest but to no avail. It is understood that the full-fledged technology that aids reviewing decisions via the DRS was not available as the BCB couldn't find the right technicians to run the equipment needed for this, despite having all the equipment available.
During Fortune Barishal's match against Sylhet Strikers on the same day, Shakib Al Hasan, who had set the scene of this season's BPL with a scathing broadside on the organisers, took on the square-leg umpire after a bouncer wasn't judged as a wide.
Two days later, Shakib rushed onto the ground to confront the umpires after there was a to-and-fro between the Rangpur Riders captain Nurul Hasan and the Barishal openers. Nurul changed his opening bowler - twice - based on which Barishal opener took strike first up. Shakib argued with on-field umpire Gazi Sohel until finally left-arm spinner Rakibul Hasan started off the innings. Shakib, Nurul and Anamul Haque (one of the Barishal openers) were fined 15% of their match fees for showing dissent at the umpire's decision.
Mashrafe Mortaza key in Sylhet's impressive startAway from the controversies, new franchise Sylhet Strikers did all the running in the first week, winning all four of their matches. Mashrafe Mortaza, who has led three different franchises to four BPL titles, was key to the team's success. He has been the team's leading wicket-taker so far, with seven wickets in four games. Mohammad Amir, predictably, did well, but so did Rejaur Rahman who opened the tournament with a four-wicket haul.
Batter of the week: Towhid HridoyTowhid Hridoy's form was the talk of the BPL's first week. The 22-year-old put himself back in contention for bigger opportunities by becoming the second Bangladeshi batter to score three fifties in a row at the BPL. He showed positive intent and impressed with his strong leg-side game. However, he hurt his finger in his last innings and is now likely to miss two weeks of action.
Bowler of the week: Rejaur RahmanTo keep up with their overall improvement over the last two years, the Bangladeshi fast bowlers started the BPL emphatically. Rejaur took a four-wicket haul in the first game of the tournament, while youngsters Robiul Haque and Hasan Mahmud also showcased their abilities. Experienced players like Mashrafe and Al-Amin Hossain also put their hands up.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84