Defending champion Dhaka Dynamites' captain Shakib al Hasan believes this year’s competition in the BPL T20 5 will be more intense, which will in turn benefit Bangladesh cricket in the long run.
Dhaka will bid to defend their title Saturday against home side Sylhet Sixers. Shakib is expecting a full house at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium and hoped the battle between bat and ball will entertain the crowd.
“I believe this edition of BPL will be better. This year five foreign players will play in the playing XI. I think it will create more competition within the team. And also, every team built a good squad and are close to each other in terms of strength and depth. So it will be tough competition this year which I believe will be good for Bangladesh cricket,” Shakib said after their training session at the picturesque Sylhet Stadium Friday.
“If you follow Bangladesh cricket, after the first edition of the BPL, you will find out that our cricket has improved and significant changes have come through the BPL. In the past when a team gave us a score of 250-260 to chase down, we thought that it would be difficult to chase. But in a T20 game, we often chase 150 in 20 overs, which improved our confidence while chasing a big target in the longer format. And also, we are playing with international players and sharing dressing rooms and experiences with them. It is also positive for our cricket,” he added.
Dhaka have formed a strong team with overseas players like Kumar Sangakkara, Shane Watson, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Evin Lewis, Sunil Narine and Kevon Cooper, among others. They also have Shakib, Abu Haider Rony, Mehedi Maruf and Nadif Chowdhury as local recruits.
“I don’t want to say we are the most star-studded team. Yes, our franchise owners and officials have built a very good team. Even we have a better squad compared to last year. And also we have very good back-up players,” he said.
"But fans also have high expectation from Dhaka. Whenever you play for Dhaka, fans will expect to win the tournament. So far this is the third time I am playing for Dhaka. I have become champion twice. Now the start is very important. It is tough to play well in every match in a big tournament like this. But we have quality players and plenty of match-winners in our side who can help the side to play well throughout the competition and win matches for the team,” Shakib concluded.