The hype of T20 cricket has taken over the Asian continent since the Indian Premier League (IPL) started. The game gives one a totally different adrenaline rush. With the blistering fours and sixes', hit every other ball, the game of cricket has gotten extremely unpredictable. And now it is going to take place here, in Bangladesh. The waiting of an entire country of 'deshi' cricket fans is over; Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) is here. Not only can we brag about hosting such a big event now, our national players are going to have a huge opportunity to play along side favourites like Chris Gayle, Sanath Jayasuriya and many more. The experience that they will gain will bring immense improvement to Bangladeshi cricket as a whole. And the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has selected Arun Lal's 'Game On' from three Indians firms who had submitted a financial offer to manage the tournament, according to reports
The league will star from February 10, 2012. An opening ceremony will take place on February 9. The tournament will be played by 6 teams from 6 different districts owned by 6 different franchises. The teams are-- Dhaka Gladiators, Sylhet Royals, Chittagong Kings, Barisal Burners, Duronto Rajshahi and Khulna Royal Bengals. Each team also has its own icon player selected for themselves-- starting off with Mohammad Ashraful for Dhaka Gladiators, Alok Kapali for Sylhet Royals, Tamim Iqbal for Chittagong Kings, Shahriar Nafees for Barisal Burners, Mushfiqur Rahim for Durunto Rajshahi and Shakib Al Hasan for Khulna Royal Bengals. A total of 33 matches will be played throughout the tournament including the semis and the final. The matches will be held at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla stadium, Dhaka and Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium, Chittagong.
The player auction already took place on January 18 and 19, 2012 where each team was allowed to spend no more than 2 million US dollars during the auction. Each franchise was allowed to sign a total of 10 local players and 8 foreign players and can play up to 5 foreign players in each match. Considering a league like this starting for the first time in Bangladesh, anybody would call the auction a pretty big success. Other than just Chris Gayle and Jayasuriya, players like Shahid Afridi, who is the highest paid player of BPL, costing a staggering 700,0000 dollars, were also involved in the auctioning. The likes of Kieron Pollard, Hershelle Gibbs, the legendary spin wizard Muttaiyah Muralitharan, Syed Ajmal and more are also among the surprising names that came up in the BPL auction.
This tournament will not only bring experience but will also bring out young, under shadowed players to come out and show what they have got. Mominul Hoque Sourav, 19 and a student of American International University, Bangladesh (AIUB), doing his Bachelors in English says, "I am currently playing for the under 19 Bangladesh national team and got selected for team 'Barisal Burners' in the BPL. It is a great honour to play alongside players like Gayle, Brad Hodge and Shahriar Nafees. All I want is to gain as much experience as I can from all of them. For a batsman at my age, playing with such players can be the biggest gift a teenager could get." He ends mentioning, "There is no end to the learning curve in cricket, a bowler gets to bowl six times in one over and he can make a difference in any of the six balls. So, it is all about learning how to face the next ball. This tournament is not only a big opportunity for me; it is also a path for me to learn a lot."
So, let the countdown begin! 12 days till the new age of BPL starts here, on our own home ground-- a chance for a lot of youngsters to come out and write their names on the pages of Bangladeshi cricketing history!
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