The 2016 Dhaka Premier League has seen an unprecedented number of Indian cricketers take part. After Manoj Tiwary, Manvinder Bisla and Jalaj Saxena, two more high-profile names are set to join the tournament soon - Ashok Menaria and Rajat Bhatia.
This large number can be pinned down to the lifting of an unofficial embargo by the BCCI on letting Indian players travel abroad to play in other countries’ List A competitions. Erstwhile IPL stars, like Tiwary and Bisla, who can now find no takers in the IPL auctions, can now play in tournaments such as the DPL.
DPL rules stipulate that only one foreign player can be fielded in a match, but that there are no limits to the number of foreigners that can be signed up to the squad.
Struggling giants Abahani Limited have fielded Tiwary, Bisla and Uday Kaul on different occasions. Brothers Jatin and Jalaj Saxena are playing for Kalabagan Cricket Academy and Legends of Rupganj respectively. Delhi all-rounder Milind Kumar made his DPL debut this week for Brothers Union, while Haryana’s Sachin Rana has turned out in two matches for Prime Bank Cricket Club.
Table toppers Dholeshwar Sporting Club are going to rope in the services of Ashok Menaria, coach Mizanur Rahman Babul has told BDCricket. The 25-year-old Menaria is a former India U-19 captain and an IPL star for Rajasthan Royals. Menaria has also been one of the most consistent performers for struggling Rajasthan in India’s domestic cricket. He shall be replacing Chamara Silva in his new side.
Yet another player whose services are in high demand in the DPL is Menaria’s Rajasthan teammate for the 2015/16 season, and current Rising Pune SuperGiants player Rajat Bhatia. The 36-year-old Bhatia is a veteran in Indian domestic cricket, and has turned in impressive shifts for the RPS team this season as well.
However, with his team’s chances of qualifying to the playoffs being snuffed out early, younger legs have been preferred to his by the RPS captain MS Dhoni, and Bhatia will now take part in Bangladesh’s 50-over competition.
While Abahani are keen to bring in Bhatia to replace the departing Manoj Tiwary, Mashrafe Mortaza-led Kalabagan Krira Chakra want Bhatia to be brought in as a replacement for Zimbabwe’s Hamilton Masakadza.
Some of the other Indians who have played in the Dhaka League’s history are Raman Lamba, Yuvraj Singh, Ajay Jadeja, Arun Lal, Ashok Malhotra, Iqbal Abdulla, Rajat Bhatia, Chetan Sharma, Sanjeev Sharma, Rohan Gavaskar, Amol Muzumdar and Aakash Chopra.