Five Tigers to play in SLPLStaff Correspondent
Five Bangladeshi cricketers were picked up by the Sri Lanka Cricket on Thursday to feature for the forthcoming Sri Lankan Premier League Twenty20 tournament, scheduled be held from August 10 to 31.
National skipper Mushfiqur Rahim, promising all-rounder Nasir Hossain and left-arm spinner Elias Sunny joined all-rounder Sakib al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal in the league, which has seven franchises.
Unlike the televised players’ auctions in the IPL and BPL, the cricketers contracted to the SLPL were divided among the seven teams by a draft system that was held behind closed doors in Colombo on Thursday.
Sakib will play for Uthura alongside Brendan Taylor, Kevon Cooper, Imran Farhat and Fidel Edwards while Tamim has been given the Wayamba side which will have Azhar Mahmood, Umar Akmal, Colin Ingram, Kemar Roach, Abdul Razzaq and Brad Hogg among others.
Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan and Mahela Jayawardene are the icon players of the Uthura and Wayamba side respectively.
Mushfiq, Nasir and Sunny all will feature for the same Nagenahira franchise where they will team-up with Mitchell Marsh, Imran Nazir, Travis Birt, Ahmed Shahzad and Ben Laughlin.
Sri Lankan all-rounder Angelo Mathews is the icon player of the franchise.
Though the glamour and glitz of franchise-based Twenty20 cricket on foreign soil are not new to Sakib and Tamim as they were part of IPL and England’s Friends Life Twenty20 Tournament in the past, it will be a completely new experience for Mushfiq, Sunny and Nasir.
‘I cannot explain it in words. It’s a dream come true for me because I will be playing in a foreign league of this repute,’ an overjoyed Sunny told New Age in his instant reaction.
‘For me, it provides an opportunity to play with some of the best players of this format, which I think will help me to improve my skills,’ said Sunny, a surprise choice by SLC.
All-rounder Nasir believes that the inclusion of five cricketers in the competition is an indication of Bangladesh cricket going in the right direction.
‘I am very happy to be a part of the competition but more than that I am happy because as many as five players from Bangladesh are playing in the competition. It shows that we are going in the right direction,’ said Nasir.
‘This will also provide me a chance of gaining some experience of playing in Sri Lankan condition ahead of ICC World Twenty20,’ he added.
SLC has determined the value of each player and the franchises were made aware of it. The Sri Lankan cricket governing body, however, has refused to make the information public.
Each franchise has eight foreign players at their disposal and they will be allowed to field maximum four players in a game out of them.
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