BPL T20 set for low-key start

Staff Correspondent | Published: 22:36, Nov 01,2016


Bangladesh Premier League franchise Rangpur Riders players pose for a photograph before the start of their training session at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Tuesday. — New Age photo

The euphoria of England series is over and Bangladesh’s cricket players and officials have now put their attention to the Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 tournament.
The fourth edition of the cash-rich event, a copy-cat of Indian Premier League, will begin on Friday with defending champions Comilla Victorians facing Rajshahi Kings in the opening match in Mirpur.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board decided to start the tournament in low-key manner as they have scheduled not to make a gala opening ceremony unlike the past three editions.
BCB chief executive officer Nizamuddin Chowdhury said they had to drop the opening ceremony because of time constraint as there was hardly any time left after the England series.
‘You know organising the opening ceremony is a huge task,’ said Nizamuddin. ‘You need at least five to six days to make all the arrangements. But we did not have that time in our hand.
‘Also we could not defer the tournament as our national team will go to Australia on December 12 as part of their preparation for the New Zealand series,’ he said.
‘So we have to finish the tournament by early December. If we had organised the opening ceremony we also could not hold the match immediately, we had to wait at least one day to clear the field,’ he said.
BCB president Nazmul Hasan is expected to inaugurate the tournament without any serious formalities.
Though the BCB avoided a gala launching it did not stop the franchises from creating a pre-tournament hype as several teams unveiled their logo and jerseys with colourful programmes.
Teams also prepared quietly for the tournament with most of the foreign players already joining their sides.
Defending champions Comilla Victorians targeted to retain the trophy as they believe they have the required arsenal to go all the way.
Victorians new coach Mizanur Rahman said that though there is pressure but they have the cricketers who are able to cope with it.
‘Naturally playing as the reigning champion is some sort of pressure,’ he said.
‘But we have players with the ability to cope with it,’ said Mizanur.
‘We have taken some young players but they are all in good touch and we feel we can be dangerous if we can perform in combined manner,’ said Mizanur.
Opener Soumya Sarkar, who will play for Rangpur Riders, said he hoped to rediscover his form with the tournament.
Soumya was dropped from the national team’s playing XI for losing his batting form and need something special to get back his confidence.
‘I am looking forward to it here [BPL] as many renowned cricketers participate in this tournament and doing well against them always helps to increase your confidence,’ he said. 

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