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Bangabandhu BPL begins on Friday

The new edition of Bangladesh Premier League, which has been rebranded as Bangabandhu BPL, is all set to begin on Friday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

BBS Cables are the title sponsors of this year’s BPL while Walton is declared as the powered by sponsor on Thursday.

A total of six teams are set to take part in BPL, and they are— Chattogram Challengers, Comilla Victorians, Fortune Barishal, Khulna Tigers, Minister Group Dhaka, and Sylhet Sunrisers.

In the first match of the season, Chattogram Challengers will take on Fortune Barishal, and in the second match of the opening day, Khulna Tigers will face Minister Group Dhaka.

When BPL is returning after a long gap enforced by the Coronavirus pandemic, the spectators won’t be allowed to enter the stadium as the new strain of Covid-19, Omicron, is on the rise in the country.

However, if the situation gets better in the coming weeks, the authorities might give it a rethink whether they will allow the spectators or not.

The last season of BPL took place in 2020, but due to the pandemic, there was no BPL in 2021. The board had made a few attempts to host a BPL in 2020 but without luck.

Comilla Victorians and Fortune Barishal made two of the strongest squads in this edition of the country’s marquee T20 event. Imrul Kayes will lead the Victorians while Shakib Al Hasan is set to lead Fortune Barishal.

Mohammad Salahuddin, one of the most successful coaches in BPL, is all set to guide the Victorians once again while Khaled Mahmud Sujon, who has also enjoyed enormous success in BPL, will coach Barishal.

Comilla has Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali and Sunil Narine, who are among the most successful T20 players around the globe. They also have local stars like Imrul, Mominul Haque, Mustafizur Rahman and Liton Das— all of them have some wonderful records at home both in domestic and international cricket.

Along with Shakib, Barishal have Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Alzarri Joseph and Mujeeb Ur Rahman along with Taijul Islam, Najmul Hossain Shanto and Naeem Hasan.

Dhaka have secured the service of three top cricketers of Bangladesh— Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah Riyad. Along with them, Dhaka have Afghanistan stars Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Shahzad, and Qais Ahmed, West Indian superstar Andre Russell.

Khulna and Chattogram focused more on the local talents while building their squads. They have Mushfiqur Rahim, Soumya Sarkar, Yasir Ali, Mahedi Hasan, Kamrul Islam Rabbi and Khaled Ahmed along with foreign recruits Sikandar Raza and Naveen Ul Haque.

Chattogram are full of local talents like Sabbir Rahman, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Afif Hossain, Zakir Hasan and Akbar Ali. Chadwick Walton, Rayad Emrit, Benny Howell and Will Jacks are also in their squad as the foreign players.

The other team, Sylhet Sunrisers, also comprise local players, but they are missing an X-factor in their team who can change the game at any moment. They have Anamul Haque, Mosaddek Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Alok Kapali, Nadif Chowdhury, and Nurul Hasan— who all are experienced campaigners but are not proven to dominate T20 cricket.

Along with many foreign cricketers, a good number of foreign coaching staff is also joining this BPL— the former Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes, former Australian pacer Shaun Tait, former South African cricketer Lance Klusener to name a few.

This year’s BPL will be played in three different venues in Dhaka, Chattogram and Sylhet, and there will be no DRS in this edition of BPL, which created a controversy in the media as DRS is an essential technology for a better decision making process for the umpires.

“We have tried to implement DRS in BPL, but the company who provides this service is unable to work with us this time,” Islamil Haider Mallick, the member secretary of BPL governing body, said recently.

“Due to the Covid-19 restriction around the world, many are unable to travel to Bangladesh. So it’s tough to bring DRS in this BPL,” he said.