The sixth edition of the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League was initially dominated by foreign players but gradually local players started to come out from their shadows to deliver some match-winning performances.
Mushfiqur Rahim and Sakib al Hasan are the most notable local stars who led their respective teams Chittagong Vikings and Dhaka Dynamites from the front and put them in top two positions in the points-table.
Like many other local cricketers, the two most experienced Bangladeshi players had struggled in the initial few matches but did not really take much time to show their class.
Mushfiq, who was the leading performer for Bangladesh last year across all three formats, brought all his experiences into play to hit three fifties in his last four matches to give the opposition bowlers a kind of nightmare.
The 31-year old got out in single digit only once this year that came in their five-run loss and scored at least 20 runs in all other matches, taking his tournament tally to 277 runs in seven matches at 46.16.
Only Rangpur Riders’ South African recruit Rilee Rossouw made more runs than Mushfiq with 359 runs in eight matches in the ongoing BPL.
’He is well focused and is really working hard,’ Hasanuzzaman, a former national cricketer and manger of Chittagong said of Mushfiq.
’He knows as long he stays at the crease it will give us a better chance. He is really playing well for us,’ he added.
Hasanuzzaman revealed that they gave him utmost freedom to Mushfiq for making any decision in the field and it also helped him bringing his best.
Mushfiq is known for his emotional vulnerability which had seen being stripped of captaincy in the middle of a domestic tournament on quite a few occasions.
It often soured his relationship with team management and that evident in Rajshshi Kings’ decision of preferring West Indies’ Darren Sammy ahead of him as captain last season.
Rajshahi also refused to retain him this time, leaving him without a team before the players’ draft until he was picked finally by Chittagong in the eleventh hour.
’He already led Bangladesh team and we had no choice but making him captain for our team. We also give him much freedom which paid off for us,’ said Hasanuzzaman.
Dhaka franchise manager Talha Jubair praised Sakib for his all-round ability that made the team one of the top contenders for title this season.
The 31-year old has taken highest 17 wickets so far in the tournament with an economy of under seven while scoring 189 runs in eight matches to show his all-round ability.
Sakib also ended his long drought for a fifty in BPL when he smashed an unbeaten 61-run knock against Sylhet Sixers during the second phase.
’Overall Sakib is doing well in both batting and bowling. In his entire career, he always gave consistent performances. He knows how to perform in a tournament like this,’ Talha told of Sakib, the only bowler to take 100 wickets in BPL.