Rangpur Riders is a professional cricket team that plays in Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), the premier cricket league in Bangladesh. They play at the prestigious Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the capital, Dhaka for their home games. The team is currently captained by Mashrafe Mortaza and coached by former Australian pacer Tom Moody.
The Riders are owned by the Bashundhara Group, one of the leading industrial companies in Bangladesh, and headquartered at the Bashundhara Residential Area in Dhaka.
The Rangpur Riders were established in 2012, after first season of the Bangladesh Premier League. The team was bought by Mustafa Rafiqul Islam, owner of iSports Limited for US$1.1 million in a closed-door auction.
The Riders joined the tournament in 2013 as the seventh team, representing the newly declared Rangpur Division. The team ownership was transferred to Sohana Sports, now managed by the Bashundhara Group.
The team's logo symbolises a ray of hope and thus the team is nicknamed as the Riders of Hope. However, it has been widely discussed and rumoured that the logo has been copied without permission from that of the Midnight Riders, a supporters group for the American MLS soccer side New England Revolution. There hasn't been any justification regarding this, though.
The Riders of Hope, as they are fondly called, won their first title of the BPL on the 2017-18 season under the leadership of Bangladesh limited overs captain Mashrafe Mortaza. This win gave Mortaza a total of four BPL titles with three different teams.
They finished 3rd in the 2015-16 season under their new captain Shakib Al Hasan.
In the 2016-17 season, Mohammad Mithun was the second highest run scorer for the team and Arafat Sunny took magical figures of 3/0 against the Khulna Titans. It was in this match that the Riders got the Titans out for a paltry total of 44, the lowest ever in the history of the BPL.
The Rangpur Riders have had numerous young talents and cricketing superstars in their 4 season history so far.
The team began its first BPL season with Nasir Hossain as their icon player, and former Pakistani all-rounder Abdur Razzak as the captain.
In the 2015-16 season they did pick some well known local players, like- Shakib Al Hasan, Arafat Sunny, Soumya Sarkar, Al-Amin, Saqlain Sajib and few more, along with some classy international T20 specialist Lendl Simmons, Darren Sammy, Sachithra Senanayake, Mohammad Nabi with some experienced face, like Misbah-ul-Haq.
In 2017, they signed West Indian t20 specialist, the Universe Boss,Chris Gayle, one of the most destructive batsman in the world, New Zealand great and one of the best openers Brendon McCullum and Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga, the king of the lethal toe crushing yorkers.
In this 2017, they got Mashrafe Mortaza as their icon player and captain in place of all-rounder Soumya Sarkar.
Rangpur Riders were the newest addition to franchise during the second edition of the league. Pakistani legendary spinner Saqlain Mushtaq was appointed as the coach, while their icon player was all-rounder Nasir Hossain, their highest paid star player. The Riders ended the season with five wins, and seven loss, resulting in a point-table tie with Duronto Rajshahi, later dropping off from the playoffs due to lower Net Run Rate than Rajshahi.
Riders of Hope got its hope for this season when they purchased Bangladeshi star Shakib Al Hasan, one of the best all-rounders in the world as their Icon player for this season.They got Australian Shane Jurgensen as their head coach. This well balanced team ended the season by capturing 3rd position in the League but could not qualify for the final thanks to loss against Barisal Bulls in the 2nd qualifier after a win against Dhaka Dynamites in the eliminator.
The team rearranged its playing squad, with Shahid Afridi, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Shahzad and many other acclaimed cricketers. Shakib Al Hasan, the icon player from the previous edition was transferred to Dhaka Dynamites. The club also included rising star Babar Azam, hard-hitting all-rounder Dasun Shanaka in their squad and Sohag Gazi and Rubel Hossain for the bowling attack. The Riders started the season strong with a dominating victories against top teams like Chittagong Vikings and Khulna Titans. However, they lost their way later on and finished fifth in the team rankings, thus, not qualifying for the playoffs.
Rangpur Riders were deserving winners of the 2017-18 season. They peaked at the right time, razing their playoff opponents in one big performance after another. They beat Dhaka Dynamites, the pre-tournament favourites in the final with commanding performances from their star openers Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum. As usual, Mashrafe Mortaza led the team superbly while contributing with his all-round abilities. He was the team's best bowler, regularly giving them early breakthroughs and standing up when the opposition got big on them.
They have a decent fanbase across the globe with nearly 12 thousand followers on Twitter and 50 thousand followers on Facebook.
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