Comilla, Rajshahi, Sylhet get ready for BPL

Dhaka – Comilla Victorians, Rajshahi Kings and Sylhet Sixers have started gearing up for the sixth edition of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).The tournament is set to commence from January 5 at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, with the opening encounter between Rangpur Riders and Chittagong Vikings. The 46-match contest will be held in three venues in Dhaka, Chattogram and Sylhet.

Comilla Victorians held their first practice session under head coach Mohammad Salahuddin. But Rajshahi and Sylhet are yet to get services of their head coaches.

Rajshahi and Sylhet will be coached respectively by former South African international Lance Klusener and former Pakistan pacer Waqar Younis respectively.

They will join their sides within January 3, a source told UNB.In the absence of head coaches, Rajshahi and Sylhet held their first practice sessions under Mizanur Rahman Babul and Jafrul Ehsan respectively. They will be assistant coaches during BPL.

Tamim Iqbal, the a-plus category player of Comilla Victorians was present at the first practice session of his team. But, Mustafizur Rahman and Liton Das, a-plus category players of Rajshahi and Sylhet, skipped theirs.

A source said they would join their respective teams from the next session.Foreign players are yet to join BPL teams. Most of them will join within January 3.

“We have a good combination this year. The team has players like Tamim and Imrul Kayes from the local guys, and we also have Shoaib Malik, Steve Smith and Shahid Afridi. I think we can regain the BPL crown,” Anamul Haque Bijoy, the right-handed opener for Comilla, told reporters on Tuesday.

“This year’s BPL is important for me. I have scored runs in BCL and NCL. Now, some good innings in BPL will help me secure a place in the Bangladesh World Cup squad,” he said.

Shahriar Nafees, the former national team captain, will play for Rajshahi Kings. The left-handed top-order batsman said: “The Rajshahi management tried their best to create a balanced squad. We really have the best local guys in our team.”I believe we are capable of winning against any team. Our initial target will be to qualify for the play-off stage.” UNB