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BPL 2019: Rangpur Riders pack their top-order with explosive players

The trio has made the Riders look extremely strong.

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers. (Photo by Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The sixth season of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) is set to take place from the January 5 next year. Along with the squads, there have also been some blockbuster signings that have taken place. There have been 186 local players and 365 overseas players to choose from for the seven participating sides.

Each team can pick a maximum of 12 local cricketers and nine overseas players with minimum four non-national players to be allowed in the playing XI for each side. The sides have also been given the opportunity to retain up to four players from their previous season’s squad.

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They have been allowed to sign a couple of players from outside the draft. All the teams have finalised the names of the six players they were authorized to recruit. Among these, last season’s champions Rangpur Riders, who have retained Chris Gayle and Mashrafe Mortaza, have also roped in AB de Villiers.

The retired Proteas batsman is the team’s second signing from outside the draft since they have already included the English batsman Alex Hales in the squad. The trio of Gayle, Hales, and De Villiers have given the franchise little to worry about in the batting front ahead of the competition.

The 34-year old, who quit international cricket earlier this year, had squashed any report of any possible comeback to international cricket ahead of the 2019 Cricket World Cup. De Villiers, now has a jam-packed schedule having already signed up for the Pakistan Super League and the inaugural Mzansi Super League, South Africa’s new T20 competition.

Along with this, De Villiers also brings a wealth of experience as a batsman who has played many T20 leagues around the globe. He was part of Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League (IPL) previously and is currently an integral part of Royal Challengers Bangalore. He was also part of the Barbados Tridents during the 2016 season of the Caribbean Premier League.

Chris Gayle, the T20 specialist had come to the side in the previous season and turned Rangpur’s fortunes around after they finished 5th in the 2016-17 season. The Jamaican marauder, along with being the highest run scorer with 485 runs was also named as the player of the tournament in the last season.

~Written by Aayushmaan Vishwanathan

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