What Happened To Last Year’s Finalist Sylhet Strikers?

Sylhet Strikers came in the ninth season of BPL as Mashrafe Bin Mortaza’s team and became the favourite team of the general audience in the middle of their first season. Sylhet International Stadium has witnessed an overflowing crowd of Sylhet fans, unlike any other BPL franchise in any other stadium.

Mashrafe’s support was also in Dhaka and Chittagong fields. Sylhet’s aggressive cricket, courtesy of youth, has drawn the audience to the field. Strikers eventually made it to the finals but Sylhet’s dream came to an end when they lost to Comilla Victorians who were ahead of the foreign power in the final.

In this year’s BPL, that team has been disorganised since the beginning. Losing all of their first five matches and they fell far short of the playoff race. The last time’s runners-up could not turn around from there. Sylhet ended the BPL as the sixth team with 10 points in 5 wins out of 12 matches of the league stage despite winning against Khulna Tigers today. Unfortunately for the team, all 5 wins have come in the last 7 matches.

What happened to Sylhet’s favourite team of the previous time? Kriknews tries to find out why.

Poor performance of locals

Sylhet’s performance last season is proof that even a low-budget team can fight for the title. But for that local cricketers have to do something special. The performance of the locals of Sylhet in the ninth season of BPL is proof of that. Last time, 3 people were from Sylhet in the list of top 10 run scorers. You will find three bowlers of Sylhet in the list of best wicket takers. However, the team could not retain the two pillars of Sylhet’s batting order, Towhid Hridoy and Mushfiqur Rahim. Towhid signed an agreement with Comilla, Mushfiq decided to play for Barisal.

Sylhet’s winning spell has not changed. Like last time, the young cricketers of the country were the main strength of the team. A bunch of local young players rely on them for batting and bowling. Ninth season tournament – Sylhet has retained the best player Nazmul Hossain in this season as well. There is another left-hander Zakir Hasan. But among Sylhet’s unlucky two, Nazmul Hossain’s BPL was disappointing. Nazmul, who scored 516 runs in the last BPL, scored 175 runs in 12 matches in this year’s BPL. Zakir had a good start but towards the end he too was caught in the circle of discontinuity. In the end Sylhet got 224 runs from his bat.

Sylhet is supposed to be a Yasir Ali-dependent team in the middle order. But he could not make a place in the playing XI as he played only five matches, scoring 58 runs, of which 46 came in Sylhet’s last match against Khulna. Sylhet could not find a suitable alternative to Mushfiq either. Wicketkeeper – Batsman Mohammad Mithun played 11 matches and scored 204 runs. They have managed to retain Rezaur Rahman and Tanjim Hasan, the two important pacers of last season. In the few matches that the two got a chance, they did not do badly at all.

However, the main reason for Sylhet’s failure is their batting. Mohammad Mithun, acting captain of the team, said, ‘I have been talking about this thing throughout the tournament. But apart from the first match, we have collapsed on the power play in every match. In T20 matches, everyone wants to use the power play properly and at that point we have gone on the back foot.”

“Our batting unit has to take responsibility for the situation we are in today because the bowlers did not do too badly in the entire tournament. The failure so far is all the batsmen,” he added.

“We didn’t plan to play very aggressive cricket. In the other two venues except Chittagong, the wickets were not so batting friendly that you had to bat aggressively. It is entirely the responsibility of the batsmen how he manages himself,” he added.

Foreign crisis

Foreign cricketers to make up for what the locals lacked were Ryan Burl, Ben Cutting and Benny Howell. Burl played in Sylhet last season. Howell has previously played BPL for Rangpur and Chittagong. Both times his varied bowling was effective and can come up with storming at the end of the innings. He showed it in two-one matches. Unfortunately for Sylhet, Cutting was knocked out of the BPL after playing three matches. The problem is, all three are all-rounders, played in the lower order. All three are known for scoring quick runs at the end of the innings. Only Harry Tector was among the top order batsmen. Playing in the top order in 6 matches, this Irish youngster finally scored 146 runs.


Sylhet could not play their best combination for Mashrafe, the captain of the team. He played five matches of BPL after battling with injuries and took one wicket and scored eight runs. Mashrafee played without being fit to fulfil the wishes of the franchise. The team has enough confidence in his captaincy. Even if Mashrafe is standing in the field, they will continue! But it didn’t last. He withdrew his name from BPL after 5 matches citing political engagement. Mithun captained the next seven matches in his absence. Under his leadership, the team has returned to winning streaks.


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