BPL Franchises Are Eagerly Waiting For SA20 and ILT20 To End

“Such matches will help build the tournament. The audience will come to the field to play such cricket.’

Khulna captain Anamul Haque said it after the last game against Fortune Barisal during the last game of Dhaka phase. The match of the two star-studded teams that day was competitive as Barisal made 187 for 4 wickets while Khulna chased it down with two overs in hand. There was nothing wrong in his opinion.

But the reality is completely different as the Sylhet phase of BPL did not witness any competitive game like the last game of Dhaka-phase considering most of the matches were one-sided and the runs were low.

In all the 12 matches played in the Sylhet phase spinners dominated due to the fact Sylhet’s wicket was tired and slow due to excessive cricket. Sylhet Strikers’ poor performance at home also marred the Sylhet phase of the BPL.

But BPL came to Sylhet with the hope of big runs. The wicket was expected to have a balanced bounce where batsmen were expected to pile runs. 

It was nothing surprised if last season of BPL’s Sylhet phase is taken into consideration considering in the eight matches that were played in Sylhet, the average first innings score was 163 runs while this time it has come down to 151. 

Another reason for low scores in this year’s BPL Sylhet phase was the fact only two wickets were used for 12 matches and this is exactly what happens when you play matches on the same wicket again and again. 

The batsmen had to play on wickets tired of extra cricket. In most of the matches the batsmen played with a target of 140 to 150 runs. If you can score some competitive runs, you can stop the opponent with bowling and all the teams played in the Sylhet phase with this strategy.

At the end of the exciting match of the last over, there was much discussion about that Sylhet wicket. 

Barisal captain Tamim Iqbal criticized Sylhet’s wicket and said, ‘This wicket was definitely not easy for batting. If you hit the ball in the right place, it’s almost impossible to hit,” said Tamim.

 Another star Shakib Al Hasan has the same tone with wickets, 

“BPL is a tough tournament. This year’s pitches are also not very ideal. Last time both the pitch and condition were good and there were a lot of runs. Which is actually not happening this time,” he said.

Rangpur Riders’ Babar Azam, however, found a way to score runs on such wickets. 

“There are two types of wickets here. To score a run here, you have to play a cricket shot. You can run later when you are stable. The first six overs are very important here. If you lose a wicket at the start you lose the match. We have to try to score quick runs in the last 5 overs by playing in the next overs,” said the former Pakistan captain.

“It is known that BPL matches have been played in Sylhet with just two wickets in mind for the upcoming Sri Lanka series. This decision of BCB is to rest the rest of the wickets. Lankans will come to Bangladesh on March 1. After three T20s and ODIs, the series will end with two Tests. All the T20 series matches and one Test will be played in Sylhet and the board had already began that preparation.

However, there is no Sri Lanka series match in Mirpur. BPL is returning to Mirpur today after Sylhet phase and at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium the average first innings score in the six matches of the first phase is 149.66 and that too due to the fact runs were scored in the night games otherwise average runs would have been lower. 

Eight games will be played in Dhaka this time and naturally BPL will be hoping for competitive cricket with big runs. The wickets prepared for today’s great Dhaka-Rangpur Riders, Chittagong Challengers-Fortune Barisal matches have green grass and no matter what the wicket should not slow down as grass wickets are prepared with this in mind.

Apart from wicket, BPL will lose star cricketers one by one from Dhaka phase. The cricketers under the central contract of Pakistan are supposed to leave the BPL in the Dhaka phase. Babar Azam of Rangpur Riders, Mohammad Rizwan of Comilla Victorians have given no objection till tomorrow. But since the Pakistan T20 League PSL will start on February 18, the franchises are trying to keep Babar-Rizwan for a few more days though it looks highly unlikely.

However, Pakistan’s central contracted players are out of contract for another two weeks.

Few Sri Lankan and Afghan players will leave the BPL to join the bilateral series in Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. 

Azmatullah Omarzai of Rangpur, Najibullah Zadran of Chittagong and Aviska Fernando are in this list while Dasun Shanaka will leave Khulna Tigers too.

However, Khulna can claim them lucky as Shai Hope and Ocean Thomas are expected to return to BPL after the ODI series between West Indies and Australia is over and both are expected to join BPL in Chittagong phase. 

BPL regulars Andre Russell, Sunil Narine will join Comilla Victorians in the Chittagong phase while another Caribbean all-rounder Romario Shepherd and English opener Phil Salt will be seen in Chittagong Challengers.

In addition, franchisees are looking at South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. South Africa T20 League SA20 will end on February 10. 

South African star David Miller will join Fortune Barisal once the tournament is over while apart from that some franchises are looking to bring in Quinton de Kock, Heinrich Klaassen. 

Rangpur Raiders will get Windies star Nicholas Pooran after SA20. In the last two weeks of BPL, some players will come from Emirates IL T20.

Taking everything into consideration it seems currently BPL franchises are looking at these two leagues to end to bolster their strength.


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