After the successful completion of the BCB President's Cup last month, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is going to organise a 5-team Twenty20 tournament starting later this month. The players' draft for that tournament was held at a hotel in the capital city today. The teams looked evenly matched as the draft was concluded.
The 5 teams - Beximco Dhaka, Gemcon Khulna, Fortune Barishal, Gazi Group Chattogram, and Minister Rajshahi - completed their players' draft by registering 16 players each as the draft concluded. Around 160 players were listed in 4 different categories.
Opening the draft, Beximco Dhaka got their chance to call first, and they surprisingly called for Mushfiqur Rahim. It was expected that whoever calls first will take Shakib Al Hasan, who has returned from his one year ban recently. But Dhaka had other plans in mind.
Shakib, however, was called by Gemcon Khulna next. Then, Fortune Barishal picked up the experienced batsman Tamim Iqbal for their team. Cutter master Mustafizur Rahman was picked by Gazi Group Chattogram. The other 'A' category player, Mahmudullah Riyad, then was supposed to be picked by Minister Rajshahi. But they opted for all-rounder Saifuddin instead.
In the next round, Dhaka picked up Rubel Hossain and Khulna this time picked Mahmudullah Riyad, which means two 'A' category players will play in the same team for Khulna.
Beximco Dhaka looks like a solid team. They picked youngsters like Tanjid Hossain Tamim, Shahadat Hossain Dipu, Naim Sheikh, Nayeem Hasan, Akbar Ali, Yasir Ali Chowdhury, Mehedi Hasan Rana, Muqtar Ali, Shafiqul Islam, Pinak Ghosh. All of them can be very handy in their respective side. Apart from these youngsters, Dhaka got hard-hitter Sabbir Rahman, spinner Nasum Ahmed, left-arm pacer Abu Haider Rony and Robiul Islam Robi. Rubel Hossain will be leading the pace attack. And with the experience of Mushfiqur Rahim, Dhaka will be the team to beat.
Gemcon Khulna, despite having Shakib and Riyad in their team, lack depth in the squad. Riyad is still a concern for Khulna as he is fighting with coronavirus. They have Imrul Kayes and Anamul Haque Bijoy at top of the batting order. Young leggy, Rishad Hossain, will also feature for Khulna. The likes of Ariful Haque, once regarded as a T20 specialist, along with Shuvagata Hom Chowdhury, Nazmul Islam Apu are also there in Khulna's squad. Al Amin Hossain is supposed to lead the pace attack for them.
Fortune Barishal will be another team to beat in this tournament. They look solid, they look energetic and aggressive. Tamim Iqbal will be leading them while they have picked the likes of Afif Hossain Dhrubo, Taskin Ahmed, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Irfan Sukkur, Abu Jayed and Towhid Hridoy as well. Parvez Hossain Emon, who has been in terrific form in intra-HP matches, is also there. It is good to see a number of Under-19 and HP team members on their side. Sumon Khan, Aminul Islam Biplob, Mahidul Islam Ankon, Towhid Hridoy, Tanvir Islam, Saif Hassan will be featuring for Barishal.
Gazi Group Chattogram got a handful of players, if they can perform according to their merit, will surely go far in the tournament. Mustafizurt Rahman was the "A" grade player in their side along with Litton Kumer Das, Mohammad Mithun, Soumya Sarker, Shoriful Islam, Ziaur Rahman, Taijul Islam and Mosaddek Hossai Saikat. Tigers' red-ball skipper, Mominul Haque, the local hero who is currently fighting with coronavirus, was also picked by Chottogram. Youngster Mahmudul Hasan Joy will definitely be in the centre of attention for them.
Minister Rajshahi ignored Mahmudullah Riyad in the opening round of the draft as they picked Saifuddin first. They look like the weakest team on paper so far. All-rounder Mahedi Hasan will have a handful of responsibilities on his shoulder. Najmul Hossain Shanto, Quazi Nurul Hasan Sohan, local boy Farhad Reza will be featuring for Rajshahi. Mohammad Ashraful was also picked up by Rajshahi. The veteran batsman has been working hard for quite some time now and got his reward. Fazley Mahmud Rabbi, Muqidul Islam Mugdho, Rony Talukder, Sunzamul Islam are notable ones among the squad. Surprisingly, Rakibul Hasan, who is mainly known for his slow and steady batting, got picked for the upcoming T20 tournament.
Unfortunately, few of the expected names were missing from the team sheets. Shahriar Nafees, who has been knocking for his chance for the last few years, missed again. It was expected that he would be given a chance this time as Mohammad Ashraful got picked up by one of the franchises. Under-19 pacers, Shoriful Islam and Mrittunjoy Chowdhury also missed out. Mrittunjoy has been suffering with his shoulder since the world cup. According to Mrittunjoy, he has recovered 80%, but BCB did not want to take any risk with him. Shoriful Islam had a back injury while playing in the intra-HP match, and he was left out as well.
British born Bangladeshi, Robin James Das, who recently made his debut for Essex, was not picked either.
Ex-ODI skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza has not been included in the draft list as he injured his hamstring, but he will be eligible to play when he gets fit.
The final squads-
Beximco Dhaka - Mushfiqur Rahim, Rubel Hossain, Tanjid Hossain Tamim, Shahadat Hossain Dipu, Nasum Ahmed, Naim Sheikh, Nayeem Hasan, Akbar Ali, Yasir Ali Chowdhury, Sabbir Rahman, Mehedi Hasan Rana, Muqtar Ali, Shafiqul Islam, Abu Haider Rony, Pinak Ghosh, Robiul Islam Robi
Gemcon Khulna - Shakib Al Hasan , Mahmudullah Riyad, Imrul Kayes, Hasan Mahmud, Anamul Haque Bijoy, Al Amin Hossain, Shamim Patwary, Ariful Haque, Shafiul Haque, Shuvagata Hom Chowdhury, Shahidul Islam, Rishad Hossain, Zakir Hasan, Nazmul Islam Apu, Salman Hossain, Jahirul Islam
Fortune Barishal - Tamim Iqbal, Afif Hossain Dhrubo, Taskin Ahmed, Irfan Sukkur, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Abu Jayed, Towhid Hridoy, Tanvir Islam, Sumon Khan, Saif Hassan, Aminul Islam Biplob, Mahidul Islam Ankon, Parvez Hossain Emon, Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Abu Sayem, Sohrawardi Shuvo
Gazi Group Chattogram - Mustafizur Rahman, Litton Kumer Das, Mohammad Mithun, Soumya Sarkar, Shoriful Islam, Ziaur Rahman, Taijul Islam, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Shamsur Rahman, Nahidul Islam, Shykat Ali, Mominul Haque, Rakibul Hasan, Sanjit Saha, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Mehadi Hasan
Minister Rajshahi - Saifuddin, Mahedi Hasan, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Quazi Nurul Hasan Sohan, Mohammad Ashraful, Farhad Reza, Arafat Sunny, Ebadat Hossain, Fazle Mahmud Rabbi, Rony Talukder, Anisul Emon, Rezaur Rahman, Jaker Ali Anik, Rakibul Hasan, Muqidul Islam Mugdho, Sunzamul Islam.