The third edition of the Bangladesh Premier League will start on 20th November in a grand opening ceremony at the Sher-E-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka. Six teams will participate in the contest that begins with the first match on 22nd November at Dhaka and the competition will go in till 15th December, when the finals will be played between the top two teams. This edition will see three new franchise owners taking part; the ruling champions, Dhaka Dynamites, who have won the last two editions, will look to score a hat-trick this time around.
We bring to you a preview on all the six teams that will be roaring to go this season, providing an entertaining cricketing fest over the next few weeks.
All-rounder captain Mahmudullah will lead this side that consists of players like Shabbir Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain, Imad Wasim and international giants like Chris Gayle, who brings his tremendous experience to the table. Kevon Cooper, Brendan Taylor and Evin Lewis will be among others in the batting line-up. Seekkuge Prasanna, the spinner from Sri Lanka is in good form and will bring his talent; Sohag Gazi, Sharifullah and Taijul Islam are other spinners who will provide the depth and variety to the attack. The bulls are ready to take the opponents by the horns; they have a good mix of experienced players and local youngsters, who will try their best to keep the team ahead.
Tamim Iqbal is the captain of the team and is known for his batting skills; this left-handed batsman has time and again proved that he is a good asset for any team. The batting line-up will have established domestic players like Anamul Haque, who has contributed with well with the bat, Taskin Ahmed the all-rounder, Pakistani players Umar and Kamran Akmal and Swapnil Patil, the batsman from UAE. Sri Lankan spinner Jeevan Mendis will be useful in providing regular breakthroughs along with the very talented Saeed Ajmal from Pakistan and Robin Peterson from South Africa. Mohammad Amir, the fast bowler from Pakistan and Chamara, the Lankan paceman will bring their skills in pace bowling to the table. Overall, they have a well-balanced team with overseas players and match-winners from the domestic circuit and they can put up a stiff challenge when the situation demands.
Mashrafe Mortaza is a talented player and will be a strong leader, providing his skills as an all-rounder; he has done well in recent times and will be confident to lead from the front. This star studded batting line-up consists of experienced batsmen like Ahmed Shehzad, Shoaib Malik, Lahiru Thrimanne, Marlon Samuels and Andre Russell from West Indies, and also Darren Stevens from England. Sunil Narine is known for his specialist spin bowling tactics and will be vital for the team; Nuwan Kulasekara has been in tremendous shape playing in the sub-continent and brings a competitive edge to the squad. Krishmar Santokie will be useful with the ball while domestic players like Shuvagata Hom, Liton Das, Imrul Kayes and other youngsters will take this opportunity to shine.
Batting powerhouse Kumar Sangakkara leads the Dhaka Dynamites in their mission to win the title again; he brings immense experience and leaderships skills that will surely motivate the side to do well again. Batsmen like Mustafizur Rahman, Shamsur Rahman, Nasir Hossain and the very talented overseas batsmen Ryan ten Doeschate, who is well versed with these conditions, and David Mallan bring a good amount of variety with their skills. The powerful fast bowler, Mohammad Irfan from Pakistan has played well in recent competitions and will be vital to their squad; with other bowlers Sohail Khan, Farhad Reza and the googly expert Yasir Shah make this bowling attack a very strong challenge for any team. It needs to be seen if they can cleverly use the resources to stay ahead of others in the competition right from the beginning.
The versatile all-rounder and match-winner in several ways, Shakib-Al-Hasan is the captain of this team which consists of experts like Quinton de Kock, Thisara Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Darren Sammy, Lendl Simmons and the old horse Misbah-ul-Haq. Having Kevin O’Brien, who has provided many special moments for Ireland, on the team, Shakib definitely has some useful hands to set up big totals. Sachithra Senanayake brings his superb bowling techniques to the table; his spin bowling has helped Sri Lanka several times and will definitely be a challenge to the opposition here. Along with other bowlers like Arafat Sunny, the Afghani spinner Mohammad Nabi, who impressed with his talent in the World Cup, and the expert fast bowler, Wahab Riaz, who has been instrumental in Pakistan’s victories in recent times, Rangpur Riders is definitely the team to look out for this season.
Wicketkeeper captain Mushfiqur Rahim has been a strong asset to the national team for some years now; he will lead this side that consists of batting powerhouses like Kieron Pollard, Shahid Afridi, Brad Hodge and all-rounders like Ravi Bopara, Josh Cobb and Chris Jordan from England. Mominul Haque is a talented player and can contribute with both bat and ball here; Rubel Hossain, Abdur Razzak, Mohammad Shahid, Sohail Tanvir and Ajantha Mendis bring a great variety to the bowling squad and can take wickets at regular intervals. The youngsters like Nurul Hasan and Abu Sayeem will take this opportunity to showcase their talent in front of a world audience; with guidance from senior players, they can definitely bring out the best in them to take the team ahead.
Amidst strong test season and just after All Stars T20 campaign, we are likely to see a strong competition in T20 league as well. The teams are evenly matched and it will certainly be a tough competition. The likes of Chris Gayle, Kumar Sangakkara, Brendan Taylor and Kevin Cooper will be overseas players to watch out for having scored plenty of runs in this format. We think that presence of Sangakkara in such fine form will make a huge difference to the squad of Dhaka Dynamites which is already having lethal bowling attack and good enough batting lineup. Dhaka Dynamites are the favourites to win this tournament.
Outright Winner: Dhaka Dynamites, 5.00 @ William Hill
There are many batsmen in the tournament who have done tremendously well in the shortest format of the game over the years. Chris Gayle and Kumar Sangakkara are prime examples of that. Kumar Sangakkara was recenty adjudged player of the series in Sachin-Warne series and his four consecutive centuries in World Cup is still fresh in the players’ mind. We think Kumar Sangakkara, due to his form, familiar conditions, and class will be the best batsmen in the season.
Best Batsman: Kumar Sangakkara, N/A