Previous season: 6th in league stage
Comilla Victorians have put up a strong statement in front of the other BPL teams ahead of this year’s tournament. Their squad brims with T20 stars and local performers, and they start as one of the strongest contenders this year.
The way Comilla built their squad has been seen as a reaction from the team owners to their poor performance in 2016, a season they played as defending champions. They want to become champions again. Simple.
Comilla’s batting line-up has three of Bangladesh’s current top order – Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes and Liton Das – as well as strong performers from abroad like Fakhar Zaman, Jos Buttler and Colin Munro. The middle order will depend on Marlon Samuels, Darren Bravo and Shoaib Malik, not to forget the allrounders Dwayne Bravo and Mohammad Nabi.
They also have Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf and Solomon Mire as allrounders apart from bowlers like Rashid Khan, Al-Amin Hossain and Arafat Sunny. It is a really strong line-up if the team management can put the right combination out on the field. Some really good players have to sit out at times, a situation that will have to be dealt with properly off the field.
If Rashid Khan can continue his good form from T20 tournaments from earlier this year, BPL batting line-ups are in for a tough time against Comilla. Rashid has proved his worth in every phase of T20 games, and has already taken 68 wickets so far in the format in 2017.
Mohammad Salahuddin has a great track record with mediocre teams but this time the challenge will be different. He has to handle a team full of stars. What he also has to tackle are young local players, among whom he can only play five in a single game. This campaign promises to be a true test of Salahuddin’s coaching skills.
One that got away
Despite the team not doing well in the 2016 BPL, Mashrafe Mortaza finished as the joint highest wicket-taker in the Comilla team with 13 wickets. He will definitely be missed as captain, bowler and six-hitter.
Below the radar
Among the few rookies is Mehedi Hasan Rana, a left-arm quick bowler who is said to have a lot of potential. He has never played a T20 and doesn’t have really impressive numbers in first-class and List-A cricket, but he might get thrown into the deep end at some stage of the BPL.
Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kyes, Liton Das, Mohammad Saifuddin, Al-Amin Hossain, Arafat Sunny, Alok Kapali, Mahedi Hasan, Mehedi Hasan Rana, Enamul Haque, Raqibul Hasan, Dwayne Bravo, Shoaib Malik, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Imran Khan Jr., Fakhar Zaman, Jos Butler, Colin Munro, Marlon Samuels, Darren Bravo, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Solomon Mire, Rumman Raees, Graeme Cremer.
Source: ESPN Crickinfo