Defending champion Rangpur Riders will lock horns with Chittagong Vikings in the tournament opener Saturday in Mirpur
Activities have started in the cricketing fraternity with the BPL T20 set to begin within a few days. The franchise-based tournament will get underway Saturday in Mirpur’s Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
Defending champion Rangpur Riders will lock horns with Chittagong Vikings in the tournament opener.
Comilla Victorians, Sylhet Sixers and Rajshahi Kings hit the ground running with their training sessions at the Academy Ground in Dhaka Tuesday, ahead of BPL 6. Rangpur are likely to begin their practise from Wednesday, while Khulna Titans will start theirs Thurday.
The tournament generally took place in November-December previously but in 2018, the tournament was pushed back by two months due to the national general election. The BPL players’ draft was held on October 28 last year.
The BPL has already witness some popular T20 players in recent times. This year, a few more world-class players were added to the BPL roster as Australian batting duo David Warner and Steve Smith will play for Sylhet Sixers and Comilla respectively.
Rangpur have roped in some big names like South Africa’s AB de Villiers and England’s Alex Hales, and let’s not forget that they already have the West Indies Chris Gayle in their side.
The foreign players have not arrived yet in Bangladesh, and are expected to set foot within the next couple of days.
Comilla captain Tamim Iqbal took part in training Tuesday with the local players, and the Victorians camp are confident of adding another trophy to their cabinet.
“We have a very good and experienced team. We have Tamim bhai, Imrul [Kayes] bhai in the top-order. Also, we have experienced players like Shoaib Malik, Smith and Shahid Afridi as well. Our coaching management is very friendly to the players, which helps a lot. So we are hoping for a good season,” said Comilla top-order batsman Anamul Haque to the media.
The local players of Rajshahi came to practise in the afternoon. They have some in-form local players in their side, including Soumya Sarkar, Mustafizur Rahman and Mominul Haque, and they are eying a strong start.
“If we compare Rajshahi with the other teams, then I believe the Kings have the most balanced side, in terms of local players. Besides that, we have some very useful T20I players. So I think Rajshahi are a pretty balanced side, and we can win against any opposition in our day. We will initially target to qualify for the knockouts with good and positive cricket,” said Rajshahi top-order batsman Shahriar Nafees.
Sylhet caught the attention of the cricket arena when they announced the signing of Warner. The explosive batsman was declared the captain of the side, and right-handed batsman Sabbir Rahman admitted that the inclusion of a player like Warner is a positive sign for the team.
“We have a brilliant team combination in Sylhet. We have quality players in the top- and middle-order. Now, we have to play well in the field. There is no clear favourite or big or small team in T20 cricket. Whoever plays well in the middle will win the match eventually. So we have to perform well in the middle out there,” Sabbir told the reporters.
“Definitely Warner is a world-class player. He has a lot of experience. It’s a positive sign we have Warner in our team. If we can follow him and learn something from his experience then it could have a positive outcome on us,” he added.