Dhaka Platoons gave Mashrafe Mortaza a lifeline as they picked up the four-time BPL winner late during the players' draft for the upcoming edition of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League at a city hotel on Sunday.
Mortaza, the current ODI skipper, did not find any takers until the fourth round before Platoon decided to pick him as their second A+ category player after grabbing Tamim Iqbal earlier."Basically we did not have the chance to call him earlier. Because we could call only one player from A+ category and we picked Tamim earlier," said Dhaka coach Mohammad Salahuddin after the draft "I feel T20 is a game of experienced cricketers because you have to take decision in a split second. Those who are experienced can take those decisions better because I won't play inside the ground. The more experienced heads you have the better it is for the team," added Salahuddin, who also picked Shahid Afridi in his squad.
Earlier it was stated that no one could pick two players from the A+ category before BPL draft commissioner Mahbub Anam came up with a special ordinance.
"If anyone wants to buy two players from the draft then the sponsors will have to pay the extra money of the A+ category player," said Mahbub. Mushfiqur Rahim was the first player to be picked in the draft by Khulna Tigers and when it came for Dhaka to make the call they went after Tamim. Chattogram Challengers picked national Twenty20 captain Mahmudullah while Rangpur picked Mustafizur Rahman.
Rajshahi went for Liton Kumar Das, Comilla preferred Soumya Sarkar while Sylhet picked up Mosaddek Hossain. As a result, Mortaza was ignored all along before Dhaka decided to rope the current ODI skipper, who has a price tag of Tk 50 lakh.
Teams had to choose at least nine local players and six foreign players from about 620 cricketers, that had 181 Bangladeshis and 439 foreigners. Pakistan's Shoaib Malik pulled out his name from the draft at the eleventh hour and was replaced by British-born Bangladeshi Robin Das though no team was interested in him.
Chris Gayle was the first foreign player to be picked when Chattogram opted for him. Rajshahi and Rangpur followed by calling for Ravi Bopara and Mohammad Nabi respectively while the draft ended with Dhaka picking Pakistan's Afridi as the last player.The event did face an obstacle when Rangpur wanted to include young leggie Rishad Hossain in their team only to find his name nowhere to complete the obligation of picking one leg spinner in the squad. Earlier, the BCB made it mandatory for teams to pick at least one leg-spinner and a quick bowler, who can bowl at 140km speed.
There are some renowned coaches in this edition of that BPL that includes Ottis Gibson and Grant Flower. While Gibson will be coaching Comilla Warriors, Flower has been appointed as the head coach of Rangpur Rangers.
The BCB earlier announced that they were dropping the regular franchises from the upcoming edition claiming that the franchises were making unreasonable demands. BCB opted to make it a special edition marking the birth centenary of country's founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman while also taking the ownership of the teams. The tournament is scheduled to kick off on December 11.
Dhaka Platoons: Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque , Hasan Mahmud, Mahedi Hasan, Thisara Perera, Laurie Evans, Ariful Haque, Mominul Haque, Shuvagata Hom, Mashrafe Mortaza, Wahab Riaz, Asif Ali, Roqibul Hasan, Zakir Ali, Luis Reece, Shahid Afridi.
Khulna Tigers: Mushfiqur Rahim, Shafiul Islam, Nazmul Hossain, Aminul Islam, Rilee Rossouw, Robbie Frylinck, Shamsur Rahman, Saif Hasan, Mehedi Hasan, Shahidul Islam, Mohammad Amir, Najibullah Zadran, Alis Islam, Tanvir Islam, Rahmanullah Gurbaz.
Chattogram Challengers: Mahmudullah , Imrul Kayes, Nasir Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Chris Gayle, Kesrick Williams, Nurul Hasan, Enamul Haque Jr, Muktar Ali, Pinak Ghosh, Avishka Fernando, Rayad Emrit, Nasum Ahmed, Junaid Siddique, Ryan Burl, Imad Wasim.
Rangpur Rangers: Mustafizur Rahman, Mohammad Naim, Arafat Sunny, Jahurul Islam, Mohammad Nabi, Shai Hope, Taskin Ahmed, Zakir Hasan, Fazle Rabbi, Nadif Chowdhury, Lewis Gregory, Cameron Delport, Sanjit Saha.
Rajshahi Royals: Liton Das, Afif Hossain, Abu Jayed, Farhad Reza, Ravi Bopara, Hazratullah Zazai, Taijul Islam, Alok Kapali, Kamrul Islam, Irfan Sukkur, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Irfan, Minhajul Abedin Afridi, Nahidul Islam.
Comilla Warriors: Soumya Sarkar, Al-Amin Hossain, Yasir Ali , Sabbir Rahman, Kusal Perera, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Sanzamul Islam, Abu Hider, Mahidul Islam Ankon, Sumon Khan, Dawid Malan, Dasun Shanaka, Fardin Hossain
Sylhet Thunders:Mosaddek Hossain, Mohammad Mithun, Nazmul Islam, Sohag Gazi, Sherfane Rutherford, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Rony Talukdar, Nayeem Hasan, Delwar Hossain, Monir Hossain, Naveen-ul Haque, Johnson Charles, Rubel Miah, Jeevan Mendis.