Chittagong Vikings celebrate wicket  Lendl Simmons    AFP (FIle Photo)
Chittagong Vikings celebrate wicket Lendl Simmons AFP (FIle Photo)

Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) is all set to start its fourth season of the from 4th of November when Rajshahi Kings will be taking on Comilla Victorians at Dhaka. BPL is a very highly anticipated league in Bangladesh as many budding local talents have emerged for Bangladesh in this tournament. Two new teams, Khulna Titans and Rajshahi Kings will play in the competition with new ownership after the original franchises had missed the 2015 competition, while the Sylhet Super Stars franchise was excluded from the competition for which the Bangladesh Cricket Board reasoned as a disciplinary action. The league will feature seven teams the season is scheduled to begin on 4th of November and to end on 9th of December 2016. READ: Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2016: Schedule and Time Table

All the franchises were allowed to retain two local players from the previous season, the two new franchises Khulna Titans and Rajshahi Kings were given the chance to pick two each up front. While Khulna went for left-arm spinner Mosharraf Hossain and pacer Shafiul Islam, Rajshahi picked Nurul Hasan and all-rounder Mehedi Hasan Miraz.

The fourth season of the tournament has seen a number of high- profile players movements from one team to other. These included transfers between competing teams and due to the suspension of the Sylhet Super Stars and the introduction of two new teams, Khulna Titans and Rajshahi Kings. Transfers included the move of Barisal Bulls captain Mahmudullah Riyad to the Khulna Titans, Chris Gayle from the Barisal Bulls to the Chittagong Vikings, the signing of Shahid Afridi as team captain of Rangpur Riders from the Sylhet Super Stars and Shakib Al Hasan as team captain of Dhaka Dynamites from Rangpur Riders and Mashrafe Bin Mortaza set for Comilla Victorians.

Defending champions Comilla Victorians will be once again lead by Mashrafe Mortaza, while Barisal Bulls the runners-up from the last season will have Bangladesh’s longer format skipper Mushfiqur Rahim leading the side. Tamim Iqbal will be leading Chittagong Vikings who will have a point to prove as they finished at No. 6 in the last season. Dhaka Dynamites will be lead by experienced Kumar Sangakkara, while Rajshahi Kings is mostly probably to be led by Darren Sammy under whose captaincy West Indies had recently won the Twent20 International (T20I) World Cup. Mahmudullah will be leading Khulna Titans yet once again and Shahid Afridi will be leading Rangpur Riders for the very first time.

Squads for Bangladesh Premier League 2016-17

Dhaka Dynamites: Evin Lewis, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara(c) (wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Ravi Bopara, Nasir Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo, Seekugge Prasanna, Wayne Parnell, Sanjamul Islam, Alauddin Babu, Suhrawadi Shuvo, Mehedi Maruf, Usama Mir, Mohammad Shahid, Irfan Shukkur, Tanveer Haider.

Openers – Evin Lewis and Mahela Jayawardene

Comilla Victorians: Imrul Kayes (c), Liton Das, Ashar Zaidi, Imad Wasim, Thisara Perera, Mashrafe Mortaza, Sohail Tanvir, Nuwan Kulasekera, Rashid Khan, Rovman Powell, Khalid Latif, Shahzaib Hasan, Al-Amin, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Nahidul Islam, Mohammad Saifuddin, Jason Holder, Mohammad Sharif, Nabil Samad, Jasimuddin, Saikat Ali, Rasel Al Mamun

Openers – Imrul Kayes and Ashar Zaidi

Chittagong Vikings: Tamim Iqbal (c), Anamul Haque, Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Nabi, Taskin Ahmed, Chaturanga de Silva, Grant Elliott, Imran Khan jnr, Abdur Razzak, Subashis Roy, Jahurul Islam, Nazmul Hossain Milon, Jeevan Mendis, Tymal Mills, Zakir Hasan, Saqlain Sajib, Shahidul Islam, Yasir Ali Chowdhury, Jubair Hossain.

Openers – Tamim Iqbal and Chris Gayle

Barisal Bulls: Rumman Raees, Dilshan Munaweera, Mushfiqur Rahim (c) (wk), Al-Amin Hossain, Taijul Islam, Mohammad Nawaz, Carlos Brathwaite, Shamsur Rahman, Abu Hider, Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Nadif Chowdhury, Josh Cobb, Mahedi Hasan, Monir Hossain Khan, Shahriar Nafees

Openers – Josh Cobb and Monir Hossain Khan

Khulna Titans: Mahmudullah, Nicholas Pooran, Riki Wessels, Kevon Cooper, Mohammad Asghar, Benny Howell, Mosharraf Hossain, Lendl Simmons, Ben Laughlin, Shuvagata Hom, Ariful Haque, Abdul Majid, Alok Kapali, Andre Fletcher, Junaid Khan, Hasanuzzaman, Naeem Islam jnr, Noor Hossain Saddam, Taibur Rahman, Abdul Halim, Shafiul Islam

Openers – Abdul Majid and Lendl Simmons

Rangpur Riders: Soumya Sarkar, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Gidron Pope, Mohammad Mithun, Babar Azam, Shahid Afridi (c), Dasun Shanaka, Arafat Sunny, Richard Gleeson, Nasir Jamshed, Sachithra Senanayake, Rubel Hossain, Sohag Gazi, Ziaur Rahman, Naeem Islam, Gihan Rupasinghe, Elias Sunny, Pinak Ghosh, Muktar Ali, Mehrab Hossain, Shahbaz Chouhan

Openers – Soumya Sarkar and Sharjeel Khan

Rajshahi Kings: Sabbir Rahman, Darren Sammy, Mohammad Sami, Nurul Hasan, Milinda Siriwardana, Upul Tharanga, Mominul Haque, Farhad Reza, Nazmul Islam, Raqibul Hasan, Samit Patel, Abul Hasan, Rony Talukdar, Salman Hossain, Ebadot Hossain, Mehedi Hasan Miraz.

Openers – Mominul Haque and Ebadot Hossain

Expect some breathtaking actions for over a month as many overseas players have been drafted in the tournament. The final of the tournament will be played on December 10, 2016 at Dhaka. Each team will play a total number of 12 games and the top four will get a nod ahead. All the games of the elimination round will be played at the same venue of Dhaka.