Rajshahi Kings sign Mustafizur Rahman as first pick of 2017 BPL Draft
What's the story?
Mustafizur Rahman was the first name to be picked in the players' draft for the 2017 edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) in Dhaka. Rajshahi Kings, who finished as the runner-up during the 2016 season, managed to acquire the services of the 22-year-old fast bowler for USD 60,000. The left-arm pacer was the only Bangladeshi player to feature in Grade A+.
Rajshahi also made the first signing among overseas players and they surprisingly opted for young Pakistani leg-spinner Usama Mir (USD 30,000 in Grade D) despite the presence of experienced stars. Meanwhile, former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq was picked up by Chittagong Vikings.
"We are lucky to have him (Mustafizur). It was a pleasant surprise but the moment we availed the opportunity, we made up our mind to go after Fizz," Rajshahi's chief executive Tahmid Azizul Haque was quoted as saying to Cricbuzz.
In case you didn't know...
Mustafizur had initially been named as the icon player of Barisal Bulls. However, BPL's governing council removed the franchise from the 2017 edition due to their non-payment of tournament fees.
The likes of Soumya Sarkar (Chittagong Vikings), Tamim Iqbal (Comilla Victorians), Shakib Al Hasan (Dhaka Dynamites), Mahmudullah (Khulna Titans), Mushfiqur Rahim (Rajshahi Kings), Mashrafe Mortaza (Rangpur Riders) and Sabbir Rahman (Sylhet Sixers) were the other big names who had been designated as icon players.
The heart of the matter
Defending champions Dhaka Dynamites picked Abu Hider Rony as their first signing in the draft even as Comilla Victorians and Chittagong Vikings went for Al-Amin Hossain and Sunzamul Islam respectively. Meanwhile, Khulna Titans and Rangpur Riders signed Nazmul Hossain and Shahriar Nafees respectively in the first round of local players. Sylhet Sixers opted for fast bowler Abul Hasan. Seasoned spinner Abdur Razzak, who was the lone player in Grade A, was picked up by Rangpur in the second round.
Joe Denly (Dhaka Dynamites), Shehan Jayasuriya (Khulna Titans), Solomon Mire (Comilla Victorians), Najibullah Zadran (Chittagong Vikings), Sam Hein (Rangpur Riders) and Chaturanga de Silva (Sylhet Sixers) were acquired in the first round of overseas picks.
The 2017 BPL edition will begin on 2nd November when the Dynamites take on the Sixers at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.
Considering his performances for Bangladesh in recent times and his burgeoning reputation, it is no surprise that Mustafizur attracted the most attention in the players' draft. Rajshahi Kings will be hoping that their star player leaves a lasting impression in the 2017 edition of the BPL.