Tamim Iqbal has been assigned to Chittagong, Mushfiqur Rahim to Sylhet, Mahmudullah to Barisal, Shakib Al Hasan to Rangpur, Nasir Hossain to Dhaka and Mashrafe Mortaza to Comilla, as icon players allocated through a lottery during the BPL draft in Dhaka on Thursday. Apart from those six, 19 overseas players and 57 locals were picked during the draft. Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir – who recently returned to cricket after serving out a suspension for spot-fixing – was one of the foreign players signed by franchises outside the draft, and was enlisted by Chittagong.
According to BPL secretary Ismail Haider Mallick, the list of foreign cricketers signed outside the draft also includes Shahid Afridi (Sylhet), Chris Gayle (Barisal) and Kumar Sangakkara (Dhaka). There is a dispute over Tillakaratne Dilshan after both Rangpur and Chittagong franchises claimed they had signed him. Mallick said that the BPL governing council will investigate the documents from the two franchises before taking a decision on the matter.
Chris Jordan was the first foreign player to be chosen in the draft, by Sylhet, while three other English players – Darren Stevens, Josh Cobb and Dawid Malan – were selected by three different franchises. Jordan, however is unlikely to be available for the entire duration of the BPL, which is scheduled between November 22 and December 15. The England quick bowler will be with the Test squad in the UAE until November 30 and is due to be a part of the Performance Camp training squad in Dubai. He may also be picked for England’s tour to South Africa, which starts with a tour match in Potchefstroom on December 15.
Seven Pakistan players, including Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Sami, were picked while five Sri Lanka players and a cricketer each from South Africa (Robin Peterson), West Indies (Andre Russell) and Afghanistan (Mohammad Nabi) were chosen in the draft.
After the draft started at around 11.20am on Thursday, Rangpur got two first picks with which they chose Soumya Sarkar and Arafat Sunny respectively. Chittagong and Comilla also got two first picks while Dhaka and Sylhet got one each in the normal round of the draft.
Mahbubul Anam, the BCB vice-president moderated the draft and had to explain the rules of the draft a number of times, but the process appeared to be a smarter way of allocating players compared to the auctions that had preceded the previous editions of the BPL. The auctions had seen a lull in the middle and end periods when franchises did not show interest in players.
There were no excess calls for players from the commissioner as many of the teams opted to quit calling after picking the minimum number of foreign and local players required. They have the option of calling up more players within the next seven days if needed.
Barisal: Mahmudullah (icon), Chris Gayle, Brendan Taylor, Kevon Cooper, Evin Lewis, Seekkuge Prasanna, Mohammad Sami, Imad Wasim, Sabbir Rahman, Sohag Gazi, Taijul Islam, Rony Talukdar, Al-Amin Hossain, Shahriar Nafees, Mehedi Maruf, Nadif Chowdhury, Mohammad Sharifullah, Sajidul Islam.
Chittagong: Tamim Iqbal (icon), Umar Akmal, Chamara Kapugedera, Mohammad Amir, Elton Chigumbura, Kamran Akmal, Robin Peterson, Saeed Ajmal, Jeevan Mendis, Anamul Haque, Taskin Ahmed, Ziaur Rahman, Naeem Islam, Enamul Haque jnr, Shafiul Islam, Nafees Iqbal, Elias Sunny, Yasir Ali Chowdhury, Asif Ahmed.
Comilla: Mashrafe Mortaza (icon), Sunil Narine, Shoaib Malik, Marlon Samuels, Ahmed Shehzad, Krishmar Santokie, Andre Russell, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lahiru Thirimanne, Darren Stevens, Liton Das, Imrul Kayes, Shuvagata Hom, Sanjamul Islam, Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Ariful Haque, Mahmudul Hasan, Naeem Islam jnr, Abu Hider, Dhiman Ghosh.
Dhaka: Nasir Hossain (icon), Kumar Sangakkara, Ryan ten Doeschate, Mohammad Irfan, Yasir Shah, Nasir Jamshed, Sohail Khan, Dawid Malan, Shahzaib Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Mosharraf Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Shamsur Rahman, Saikat Ali, Farhad Reza, Nabil Samad, Abul Hasan, Irfan Shukkur.
Rangpur: Shakib Al Hasan (icon), Lendl Simmons, Darren Sammy, Thisara Perera, Wahab Riaz, Sachithra Senanayake, Mohammad Nabi, Soumya Sarkar, Arafat Sunny, Mohammad Mithun, Muktar Ali, Saqlain Sajib, Jahurul Islam, Abu Jayed Chowdhury, Murad Khan, Rasel Al Mamun
Sylhet: Mushfiqur Rahim (icon), Shahid Afridi, Ravi Bopara, Brad Hodge, Ajantha Mendis, Chris Jordan, Sohail Tanvir, Joshua Cobb, Rubel Hossain, Mominul Haque, Abdur Razzak, Nurul Hasan, Mohammad Shahid, Najmul Islam, Junaid Siddique, Nazmul Hossain Milon, Abu Sayem
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
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