Bangladesh Premier League: Pre-tournament Best XI

The big names who are expected to rock the fifth season of the BPL.

Lendl Simmons
Lendl Simmons. (Photo By Randy Brooks/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) is into its fifth season with seven teams all set to fight it out to lift the domestic T20 trophy. After a couple of intriguing seasons, the tournament came to a halt because of match-fixing allegations. However, the event came back to life in 2015 for its third season. The Mashrafe Mortaza-led Comilla Victorians emerged as the winners.

Even the previous season witnessed some nail-biting encounters. Going into the fifth edition, there will be cricketers who are expected to play important roles for their respective teams. In the article we take a look at the pre-tournament Best XI, comprising of some big names.

1. Evin Lewis (Dhaka Dynamites)

Evin Lewis
Evin Lewis of West Indies. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Evin Lewis has been a revelation, especially in limited-overs cricket. He isn’t intimidating to the naked eyes, but he packs a punch with his strokes. Lately, he has been in sublime form, smashing decent bowling attacks to all parts of the ground with sheer disdain.

The swashbuckling batsman from Trinidad & Tobago scored a whirlwind 176 runs in a One-Day International against England, which manifests his big-hitting capability. In the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League, he missed out tantalisingly on the second fastest T20 century by one run. Lewis is most likely to open the batting for Dhaka Dynamites and will be a vital component of their batting resources.

2. Tamim Iqbal (Comilla Victorians)

Tamim Iqbal Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal. (Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)

Tamim Iqbal started his career in a manner, where he went after bowling attacks from the outset. Consequently, he used to throw his wicket away. However, with the passage of time, the Chittagong-born batsman has transformed himself into a responsible and dependable batsman.

Tamim has been playing in the BPL from the event’s first season and has also captained a few sides. Nevertheless, he will be missing out on the first few games of this season due to an injury he suffered during a practice game of Bangladesh’s recent tour of South Africa. Comilla Victorians finished as the tournament’s cellar-dweller last season and Tamim Iqbal’s contribution will be pivotal for them to turn things around.

3. Lendl Simmons (Rajshahi Kings)

Lendl Simmons
Lendl Simmons. (Photo By Randy Brooks/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Lendl Simmons is a seasoned campaigner and has loads of experience under his belt. He is a calm-headed batsman who can shift gears at any stages of a game. He has been successfully plying his trade for several T20 teams across the globe. Simmons is also a handy medium pacer who has the ability to pick up wickets.

He will represent the Rajshahi Kings team in the Bangladesh Premier League and is expected to play a crucial role for them. He previously has played on slow and low wickets in the subcontinent, which will keep him in good stead, going into the tournament.

4. Mushfiqur Rahim (wk) (Rajshahi Kings)

Mushfiqur Rahim
Bangladesh cricketer Mushfiqur Rahim. (Photo by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Mushfiqur Rahim hasn’t had the best of times recently as his team slumped to a defeat in the 2-match Test series against South Africa. However, he came back and stitched together a couple of decent scores in the One-Day International series.

He isn’t renowned for playing extravagant strokes, but he has the ability to score runs and hold an innings together with grit and determination. He has been a regular fixture of the tournament ever since its inception and has performed exceptionally well. He is the icon player of the Rajshahi Kings and the team will be banking on him to get some substantial scores under his belt.

5. Shakib Al Hasan (Dhaka Dynamites)

Bangladesh cricketer Shakib Al Hasan
Bangladesh cricketer Shakib Al Hasan. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Shakib Al Hasan has arguably been the most efficient all-rounder in modern-day cricket and has been an indispensable member of every team he represents. While he is wily and effective with his left-arm spin, he also possesses the skills to score runs.

His all-round abilities have earned him spots in various domestic T20 teams across the globe and he hasn’t disappointed his franchises one bit. He has recently taken a break from Test cricket but has continued to play limited-overs cricket. He is a part of the Dhaka Dynamites side and the team will be hoping for its icon player to come out all guns blazing and demolish oppositions.

6. Sabbir Rahman (Sylhet Sixers)

Sabbir Rahman acknowledges the crowd after half century
Bangladesh cricketer Sabbir Rahman. (Photo by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Sabbir Rahman is a batsman who prefers to throw caution to the wind and doesn’t like to die wondering. He has played some useful knocks for Bangladesh in the limited-overs format and is a deadly prospect for oppositions, especially in T20s.

Last season, he smashed his way to the fastest century in Bangladesh Premier League, overhauling Chris Gayle’s record. After playing for Rajshahi in the erstwhile edition, he will play for the Sylhet Sixers. Meanwhile, he has also been selected as the team’s Icon Player. If Sabbir gets on to his stride, then it will be hard for oppositions to put a lid on the Sixers batsman and stem the run flow.

7. Mohammad Nabi (Comilla Victorians)

Mohammad Nabi
Afghan cricketer Mohammad Nabi. (Photo by -/AFP/Getty Images)

Mohammad Nabi has been one of the best cricketers, Afghanistan have ever produced. He generally bats down the order and provides the finishing touches to an innings. While he can hit the long ball without much fuss, he can also nip out wickets with his off-breaks.

Useful with both bat and ball, he is a handy prospect for any side in the T20 format. Earlier this year, he went on to represent the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League and impressed in the limited opportunities he got. He will represent the Comilla Victorians in the Bangladesh Premier League and is speculated to play a vital role for them.

8. Sunil Narine (Dhaka Dynamites)

Sunil Narine
Sunil Narine. (Photo by Randy Brooks – CPL T20 via Getty Images)

Sunil Narine burst on to the scene as a bowler who could bamboozle the best in the business with his guile and trajectory. Apart from keeping the batsman quiet, he can churn out wickets during any stages of a game to maintain the pressure on the batsmen.

After getting banned for suspect action, he went through changes in his action. However, even after the alterations, he is still a force to reckon with. In the last one year, he also has developed skills with the willow, batting at the top of the order. He will play for the Dhaka Dynamites and will need to fire with bat and ball for the Dynamites to go deep into the tournament.

9. Mashrafe Mortaza (C) (Rangpur Riders)

Mashrafe Mortaza
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza.(Photo by -/AFP/Getty Images)

Mashrafe Mortaza is the current skipper of the Bangladesh national team in the limited-overs format and has tasted a reasonable amount of success. Under his leadership, Bangladesh progressed to the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy, earlier this year.

Injuries have marred his career to a large extent, but it didn’t perturb him as he kept performing for his team. He is the only captain in the Bangladesh Premier League to have won as many as three titles- a couple with Dhaka and one with Comilla. This season, he will represent the Rangpur Riders team and will need to fire on all cylinders for Comilla to perform handsomely.

10. Rashid Khan (Comilla Victorians)

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan of Afghanistan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Rashid Khan has been a sensation in world cricket and has been able to carve a reputation for himself as a difficult spinner to combat. At a tender age of 19, the leg-break bowler has emerged as one of the best bowlers going around in world cricket.

He is quick through the air, hurries the batsman and also generates prodigious turn from the wickets. Apart from that, he is no mug with the bat and can score handy runs lower down the order. On slow and low Bangladesh wickets, Rashid is expected to play a crucial part. He will play for the Comilla Victorians team in the current edition of the Bangladesh Premier League.

11. Mustafizur Rahman (Rajshahi Kings)

Mustafizur Rahman of Bangladesh
Mustafizur Rahman of Bangladesh. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

Mustafizur Rahman made his debut in 2015 and impressed right away with a couple of brilliant performances against India. He bowled beautifully in the ICC World T20 in India and was later picked to play for the Sunrisers Hyderabad team in the Indian Premier League.

He takes pace off the ball by bowling off-cutters, which becomes extremely tough for the batsman to gauge. Nevertheless, he has suffered from quite a few injuries in his short career, which halted his dream run in cricket. The BPL is the perfect platform for the pugnacious potential to get some rhythm back into his bowling.