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The surprise picks and exclusions in the BPL draft

The surprise selections and exclusions from the BPL 2015 player draft

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam

Top five surprise picks

Yasir Ali Chowdhury (Chittagong): Chowdhury was overlooked from the Bangladesh Under-19s squad, reportedly due to fitness issues, but has been a regular in the Chittagong divisional side in the National Cricket League since the 2014-15 season. He must have impressed Chittagong team official Akram Khan enough with his two fifties in this season's first-class competition. Considered a future prospect from Chittagong, Chowdhury is expected to continue the division's tradition of big-hitting batsmen, following in the footsteps of Akram, Tamim Iqbal and Aftab Ahmed.
Abu Sayeem (Sylhet): A wicketkeeper-batsman, Sayeem has played only one first-class game. He played for Bangladesh Under-19s in 2013 and later turned out for Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club in the 2014-15 Dhaka Premier League. Hailing from Bhola in Bangladesh's deep south, Sayeem appears to be a choice made by Sylhet coach Sarwar Imran, who has a keen eye for young talent.
Evin Lewis (Barisal): The 23-year-old opening batsman from Trinidad & Tobago is a surprise acquisition by Barisal, who signed him before the draft, and comes into the league largely unknown to Bangladeshi fans. Lewis has Caribbean Premier League experience, though. He played ten matches for St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in CPL 2015, averaging 22.20, but had a better season in 2014 with T&T Red Steel, scoring 321 runs and averaging over 40 in eight matches. He is an interesting addition to a Barisal line-up that is already packed with big-hitters.
Abu Jayed (Rangpur): Those who follow Bangladesh's first-class cricket scene know Jayed as the steady medium-pacer plying his trade for Sylhet division and East Zone. He has, however, become one of the surprise picks of the draft after he was selected ahead of bowlers like Robiul Islam, Mohammad Sharif and Subashis Roy. Jayed is now with Bangladesh A in South Africa, preparing for a tour to Zimbabwe next month, and will be delighted to have finally won recognition for his steady work in the longer version.
Chris Jordan (Sylhet): During the players' draft, the microphones inside the hall picked up someone mentioning to Sylhet that Jordan won't be available for half the BPL at least, but there is also a chance that he may not be available for the entire tournament. Jordan will be with the England squad in the UAE until November 30. He is then due to be part of the Performance Squad training camp in Dubai and could be named in the England Test squad bound for South Africa.

Top five surprise exclusions

Paul Stirling: In BPL 2013, Stirling played 13 matches for Sylhet Royals, scoring 323 runs at a strike-rate of 161.5 with two fifties. He was a dangerous starter for a team that needed the acceleration. He was available this time around, too, but was ignored as teams opted for middle-order batsmen among their foreign picks.
Jubair Hossain: Shakib Al Hasan thinks Jubair Hossain will end up with plenty of Test wickets, but the legspinner has not yet been as convincing in limited-overs cricket. He was benched for most of Abahani's 2014-15 Dhaka Premier League season and had hoped that he would get picked in the BPL. His exclusion is disappointing given that there are almost no genuine legspinners in the tournament so far.
Azhar Mahmood: Having appeared for Barisal Burners and Dhaka Gladiators in the previous two editions of the BPL, it was expected that Mahmood would be picked by a franchise. The vastly experienced allrounder, who has played 223 T20s, doesn't miss out on many domestic T20 tournaments, so it was a surprise to see him ignored in the draft.
Alok Kapali: Last season, Bangladesh's chief selector Faruque Ahmed had said that players of Kapali's age (31) are not even a part of his Plan B. His remarks came when Kapali was making plenty of runs in domestic cricket. His records in the previous two BPL seasons, however, haven't been inspiring enough for any team to pick him.
Marshall Ayub: Many would say that Marshall isn't cut out for T20s but, given his recent form, it seemed he would have attracted the interest of at least one franchise. Marshall has been scoring heavily for Dhaka Metropolis in the NCL this season, with two hundreds in one game earlier this month. A tag of being dependable in one format, however, sticks to players in Bangladesh and it has happened to Marshall, who is known to be more suited to the longer format.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84