Dhaka Platoons made a late call to pick four-time winner Mashrafee bin Murtaza as the players’ draft for the upcoming Bangladesh Premier League ended at a city hotel on Sunday.
There were no takers for Mashrafee until the fourth round when Dhaka added him to national opener Tamim Iqbal as their second A-plus category player in an otherwise mundane draft.
Mushfiqur Rahim was the first player to be picked in the draft by Khulna Tigers before Dhaka called for Tamim and Chattogram Challengers followed them by picking national Twenty20 captain Mahmudullah.
It left Mashrafee, who did not play any competitive cricket since leading Bangladesh in the World Cup in United Kingdom, available for Rangpur Rangers, Rajshahi Royals, Cumilla Warriors and Sylhet Thunders.
But Rangpur opted for Mustafizur Rahman, while Rajshahi, Cumilla and Sylhet picked up Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar and Mossaddek Hossain, ignoring Mashrafee, who has a price tag of Tk 50 lakh.
While Mashrafee was finally lucky to get a team, the luck was not the same for some other seasoned players like Shahriar Nafees, Mohammad Ashraful, Ziaur Rahman, who went unpicked.
Teams had to choose at least nine local players and six foreign players from about 620 cricketers, including 181 Bangladeshis and 439 foreigners.
Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik pulled out his name from the draft at the eleventh hour and was replaced by British-born Bangladeshi Robin Das, who, nevertheless, went unpicked.
Chris Gayle was the first foreign player to be picked when Chattogram opted for him with Rajshahi and Rangpur followed by calling for Ravi Bopara and Mohammad Nabi respectively.
The draft ended with Dhaka picking Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi as the last player.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board made it mandatory for teams to pick at least one leg-spinner and a quick bowler, who can bowl at 140km speed.
Things turn bizarre when Rangpur wanted to complete this obligation by including young leggie Rishad Hossain in their team only to find his name nowhere.
In some other instances teams called for players already taken by rival teams, taking some gloss off the event.
The BCB earlier announced to drop the regular franchises from the upcoming BPL and make it a special edition marking the birth centenary of country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The BCB instead took the ownership of the teams and also renamed the edition as Bangabandhu BPL, which scheduled to kick off on December 11.
1. Dhaka Platoons: Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque , Hasan Mahmud, Mahedi Hasan, Thisara Perera, Laurie Evans, Ariful Haque, Mominul Haque, Shuvagata Hom, Mashrafe Mortaza, Wahab Riaz, Asif Ali, Roqibul Hasan, Zakir Ali, Luis Reece, Shahid Afridi.
2. Khulna Tigers: Mushfiqur Rahim, Shafiul Islam, Nazmul Hossain, Aminul Islam, Rilee Rossouw, Robbie Frylinck, Shamsur Rahman, Saif Hasan, Mehedi Hasan, Shahidul Islam, Mohammad Amir, Najibullah Zadran, Alis Islam, Tanvir Islam, Rahmanullah Gurbaz.
3. Chattogram Challengers: Mahmudullah , Imrul Kayes, Nasir Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Chris Gayle, Kesrick Williams, Nurul Hasan, Enamul Haque Jr, Muktar Ali, Pinak Ghosh , Avishka Fernando, Rayad Emrit, Nasum Ahmed, Junaed Siddique, Ryan Burl, Imad Wasim.
4. Rangpur Rangers: Mustafizur Rahman, Mohammad Naim, Arafat Sunny, Jahurul Islam, Mohammad Nabi, Shai Hope, Taskin Ahmed, Zakir Hasan, Fazle Rabbi, Nadif Chowdhury, Lewis Gregory, Cameron Delport, Sanjit Saha.
5. Rajshahi Royals: Liton Das, Afif Hossain, Abu Jayed, Farhad Reza, Ravi Bopara, Hazratullah Zazai, Taijul Islam, Alok Kapali, Kamrul Islam, Irfan Sukkur, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Irfan, Minhajul Abedin Afridi, Nahidul Islam.
6. Cumilla Warriors: Soumya Sarkar, Al-Amin Hossain, Yasir Ali , Sabbir Rahman, Kusal Perera, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Sanzamul Islam, Abu Hider, Mahidul Islam Ankon, Sumon Khan, Dawid Malan, Dasun Shanaka, Fardin Hossain .
7. Sylhet Thunders: Mosaddek Hossain, Mohammad Mithun, Nazmul Islam, Sohag Gazi, Sherfane Rutherford, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Rony Talukdar, Nayeem Hasan, Delwar Hossain, Monir Hossain, Naveen-ul Haque, Johnson Charles, Rubel Miah, Jeevan Mendis.