There is hardly any cricket fan who doesn't know the name of the Indian Premier League (IPL) team Rajasthan Royals. Bangladeshi cricket fans will definitely have a special eye on this IPL team this time.
The franchise has bought Bangladeshi pacer Mustafizur Rahman for Rs 1 crore for this year's IPL. They are suddenly in the news of Bangladesh cricket even before Mustafiz has played for them.
The team suddenly visited the Mirpur Sher E Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Thursday. Officials of Rajasthan Royals, the first IPL champions, visited the Mirpur stadium ground and other facilities on Thursday afternoon.
They were accompanied by several Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) officials.
Royals' chairman, Ranjit Barthakur, said that he came here to observe the ground and training facilities here in Bangladesh. He also has a plan to arrange a cooperative exchange program within Bangladeshi districts and the North-Eastern states and North Bengal.
"I'm back here just to see the stadium to see how we can do a cooperation of within Bangladesh districts and the North-Eastern states and North Bengal, how we can have an exchange program for cricket so that we can flourish as an eastern Himalayan territory rather than the territory of India and Bangladesh," Ranjit said.
Ranjit hoped to have some of Fizz in Royals' colors if he doesn't get selected for the national team during that period of time. But he also mentioned country comes first.
"We have taken the Fizz (Mustafiz). Hopefully, he will play but his duty to the country is first. I hope he gets selected for the national team also, but if he does not, we are always there for him."
It had been wondered that Royals may want to practice at Mirpur ahead of the upcoming IPL season. But Ranjit said it is not possible this year due to Covid. He did praise the Mirpur ground and its facilities though.
"That is not possible this year for Covid," Ranjit answered when he was asked about the possibility of arranging any training session in Mirpur.
"Your ground is fantastic, facilities are fantastic. It is actually second to none. This deserves the merit for international cricketers to come and practice here. If they secretly want to manage, this is a good place.
But in covid time it is difficult. Otherwise, we would definitely have some considerations," he added.
The Royals' chairman is hopeful of developing their fanbase in Bangladesh as well.
"Our fanbase here is quite interesting. We are number three here in Bangladesh after Kolkata and Chennai. So we want to develop our fanbase in Bangladesh and also North-East India."
Ranjit believes Bangladeshi spinners and batting all-rounders should get more chances in IPL.
"Bangladesh can be the capital of IPL. I think it's very important to encourage spinners and all-rounders from Bangladesh."
The Royals' chairman also talked about his plan to build a Royal Academy in Bangladesh and to begin scouting Bangladeshi players from the root level soon.
"Nothing has been finalized yet, but we're thinking of it," he concluded.