The BPL will now start from January 5, 2019, due to the general elections in Bangladesh, with the first match being played between defending champions Rangpur Riders and Chittagong Vikings.
Seven teams – Comilla Victorians, Dhaka Dynamites, Khulna Titans, Rangpur Riders, Sylhet Sixers, Rajshahi Kings and Chittagong Vikings – will take part in the tournament which will comprise 42 games in the league stage with each side playing 12 of them. The top four will then qualify to the playoffs from where the top two sides will make it to the final.
Almost every day will see doubleheaders being played between the franchises. All the matches will be held at one of the three venues – Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet.
Three players will hog the most limelight in the sixth edition of the BPL. The first and foremost is the comeback man Mohammad Ashraful who will return after serving a five-year suspension by the Bangladesh Cricket Board on the grounds of match fixing. The former Bangladesh skipper will play for Chittagong Vikings.
The other two top-drawer signings are the suspended Australian batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner. Warner has been named the captain of the Sylhet Sixers. After much deliberation, the BCB has allowed Smith to be a part of Comilla Victorians by amending the players’ draft rules.
Two other major changes will be seen in this season’s BPL. First is the introduction of DRS. Each team will get a review per inning. Secondly, one foreign umpire in every match has also been made mandatory.
Here are our predictions for the tournament:
Highest run-scorer: Steve Smith (Comilla Victorians) looks determined to turn things around for himself. In the few video clips released by the Cricket Australia that showed Smith and Warner in the nets had Smith middling each and every delivery. He has also done well in the leagues and local matches that he has played in Australia and seems to have retained his golden touch.
Highest wicket-taker: Shakib Al Hasan (Dhaka Dynamites) has been on a roll ever since he has made a return after injury. In the recently-concluded series against Windies, Shakib single-handedly won Bangladesh a couple of matches and starred with both bat and ball.
Runners-up: Comilla Victorians won the BLP 2015 title and with the likes of Steve Smith, Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, and Shoaib Malik in the ranks they would be firm contenders this season as well.
Champions: Dhaka Dynamites who started out as Dhaka Gladiators won both the 2012 and 2013 editions of the tournament. The Gladiators were then dissolved in 2013 and rebranded as Dhaka Dynamites. They have Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, and Andre Russell which makes them the frontrunners.
Team squads of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2019:
Rangpur Riders Squad: Mashrafe Mortaza, Nazmul Islam, Mohammad Mithun, Chris Gayle, Alex Hales, AB de Villiers, Shafiul Islam, Sohag Gazi, Farhad Reza, Mehedi Maruf, Ravi Bopara, Rilee Rossouw, Nahidul Islam, Nadif Chowdhury, Abul Hasan, Benny Howell, Oshane Thomas
Dhaka Dynamites Squad: Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Hazratullah Zazai, Andre Russell, Rubel Hossain, Nurul Hasan, Rony Talukdar, Shuvagata Hom, Andrew Birch, Ian Bell, Qazi Onik, Mohammad Asif Hasan, Naim Sheikh
Comilla Victorians Squad: Steve Smith, Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Mohammad Saifuddin, Shoaib Malik, Asela Gunaratne, Liam Dawson, Abu Hider Rony, Anamul Haque, Ziaur Rahman, Shahid Afridi, Thisara Perera, Mosharraf Hossain, Mohammad Shahid, Shamsur Rahman, Sanjit Saha, Evin Lewis, Waqar Salamkheil, Aamer Yamin
Chittagong Vikings Squad: Sunzamul Islam, Sikandar Raza, Luke Ronchi, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Shahzad, Robbie Frylinck, Mosaddek Hossain, Abu Jayed, Khaled Ahmed, Nayeem Hasan, Cameron Delport, Dasun Shanaka, Mohammad Ashraful, Robiul Haque, Yasir Ali, Nihaduzzaman, Najibullah Zadran, Shadman Islam
Khulna Titans Squad: Mahmudullah, Ariful Haque, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Carlos Brathwaite, Dawid Malan, Jahurul Islam, Shariful Islam, Taijul Islam, Al-Amin, Zahir Khan, Sherfane Rutherford, Subashis Roy, Junaid Siddique, Mahidul Islam Ankon, Tanvir Islam, Lasith Malinga, Yasir Shah, Brendan Taylor, Paul Stirling
Rajshahi Kings Squad: Mominul Haque, Mehidy Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Zakir Hasan, Qais Ahmad, Christiaan Jonker, Soumya Sarkar, Fazle Mahmud, Arafat Sunny, Alauddin Babu, Isuru Udana, Laurie Evans, Marshall Ayub, Kamrul Islam, Ryan ten Doeschate, Seekkuge Prasanna, Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Hafeez
Sylhet Sixers Squad: Nasir Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Liton Das, Sohail Tanvir, David Warner, Sandeep Lamichhane, Afif Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Al-Amin Hossain, Towhid Hridoy, Fabian Allen, Mohammad Irfan, Nabil Samad, Ebadat Hossain, Alok Kapali, Jaker Ali, Gulbadin Naib, Andre Fletcher, Mehedi Hasan Rana, Patrick Brown, Nicholas Pooran
Here’s the complete schedule:
BPL T20 2018-19 Schedule
|First phase (5-13 January), Shere Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka|
|05.01.2019||Rangpur Riders vs Chittagong Vikings|
|05.01.2019||Dhaka Dynamites vs Rajshahi Kings|
|06.01.2019||Comilla Victorians vs Sylhet Sixers|
|06.01.2019||Khulna Titans vs Rangpur Riders.|
|08.01.2019||Dhaka Dynamites vs Khulna Titans|
|08.01.2019||Comilla Victorians vs Rangpur Riders|
|09.01.2019||Sylhet Sixers vs Chittagong Vikings.|
|09.01.2019||Khulna Titans vs Rajshahi Kings.|
|11.01.2019||Dhaka Dynamites vs Rangpur Riders|
|11.01.2019||Comilla Victorians vs Rajshahi Kings|
|12.01.2019||Chittagong Vikings vs Khulna Titans|
|12.01.2019||Dhaka Dynamites vs Sylhet Sixers|
|13.01.2019||Rangpur Riders vs Rajshahi Kings|
|13.01.2019||Chittagong Vikings vs Comilla Victorians|
|15.01.2019||Khulna Titans vs Rajshahi Kings|
|Second phase (15-19 January), Sylhet International Cricket Stadium, Sylhet|
|15.01.2019||Sylhet Sixers vs Comilla Victorians|
|16.01.2019||Dhaka Dynamites vs Rajshahi Kings|
|16.01.2019||Sylhet Sixers vs Rangpur Riders|
|18.01.2019||Sylhet Sixers vs Dhaka Dynamites|
|18.01.2019||Khulna Titans vs Comilla Victorians|
|19.01.2019||Sylhet Sixers vs Rangpur Riders|
|19.01.2019||Chittagong Vikings vs Khulna Titans|
|Third phase (21-23 January), Shere Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka|
|21.01.2019||Comilla Victorians vs Rajshahi Kings|
|21.01.2019||Dhaka Dynamites vs Chittagong Vikings|
|22.01.2019||Khulna Titans vs Rangpur Riders|
|22.01.2019||Dhaka Dynamites vs Comilla Victorians|
|23.01.2019||Chittagong Vikings vs Rajshahi Kings|
|23.01.2019||Khulna Titans vs Sylhet Sixers.|
|25.01.2019||Sylhet Sixers vs Rajshahi Kings|
|Fourth phase (25-30 January), Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong|
|25.01.2019||Chittagong Vikings vs Rangpur Riders.|
|26.01.2019||Sylhet Sixers vs Khulna Titans|
|26.01.2019||Chittagong Vikings vs Rajshahi Kings|
|28.01.2019||Khulna Titans vs Comilla Victorians|
|28.01.2019||Dhaka Dynamites vs Rangpur Riders|
|29.01.2019||Rangpur Riders vs Rajshahi Kings|
|29.01.2019||Chittagong Vikings vs Comilla Victorians.|
|30.01.2019||Chittagong Vikings vs Dhaka Dynamites|
|30.01.2019||Sylhet Sixers vs Rajshahi Kings|
|Last phase (1-8 February), Shere Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka|
|01.02.2019||Dhaka Dynamites vs Comilla Victorians|
|01.02.2019||Chittagong Vikings vs Sylhet Sixers|
|02.02.2019||Comilla Victorians vs Rangpur Riders|
|02.02.2019||Dhaka Dynamites vs Khulna Titans|
|04.02.2019||Eliminator (Third team vs Fourth team in the point table)|
|04.02.2019||Qualifier 1 (First team vs Second team in the point table)|
|06.02.2019||Qualifier 2 (losing team of Qualifier 1 vs winning team of Eliminator)|
|08.02.2019||Final (Winning teams of Qualifier 1 vs Qualifier 2)|
|09.02.2019||Reserve Day (Final)|