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Warner joins BPL extravaganza

  • Published at 11:11 pm January 3rd, 2019
Sylhet Sixers' David Warner stretches during training in Mirpur Thursday Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

Rangpur Riders will face Chittagong Vikings in the tournament opener Saturday

Sylhet Sixers captain David Warner has joined the squad for the forthcoming BPL 6 season.

He took part in the practice session at the BCB Academy ground in Mirpur Thursday. 

The Australian left-handed top-order batsman did a stretching session but did not bat during practice. 

Warner was seen to have a long discussion in the training session with head coach Waqar Younis, and in all likelihood, the skipper was perhaps making the strategy for their side.  

The former Aussie vice captain was banned by Cricket Australia in March, 2018, for his involvement in ball-tampering in the controversy known as “Sandpapergate Scandal” during Australia’s tour to South Africa.

In the past nine months, Warner had an embargo of playing top-flight cricket due to the ban. 

This is the first time Warner is taking part in the BPL, and he is delighted to be the captain of Sylhet. 

But Warner admitted he needs to lead the team from the front by scoring runs, and that he is eager to get back to competitive cricket. 

“I am extremely grateful for leading Sylhet. We will have to establish the best XI when we will be out of the park and making sure that we will do the right things at the training before we go out to the park. So from where I stand, it’s leading from the front and making sure I am doing my job right which is scoring runs and leading the guys on the park,” said Warner during the official press conference at a city hotel Thursday evening.

Sylhet have a good squad comprising some effective local and foreign players.  

Last year Sylhet finished fifth in the points table but this season they are aiming for a better finish. 

Waqar was quite hopeful of success. 

“It’s good to be back in the BPL. Bangladesh is a lovely place. Last time I was the mentor of Sixers, but this year I have returned with a bigger and challenging role. We have picked a balanced side. We have couple of really good overseas fast bowlers and also two world-class leg-spinners. We have also very good local players. I believe Warner will lead from the front. Hopefully we will challenge the other teams in the tournament,” said Waqar to the media. 

Meanwhile, defending champion Rangpur Riders practised in the academy ground in the afternoon under the supervision of head coach Tom Moody. 

“We are fully aware that it’s a very strong competition. Every team are pretty well balanced and competitive. Last year was great for us despite being a new franchise. But this season we know that we have to do a lot of hard work to achieve success. 

Rangpur have an explosive batting line-up as AB de Villiers and Alex Hales will join this season, along with the already retained Chris Gayle. 

But Moody believes team game is more important than individual players. 

“We will have De Villiers for seven games and Hales for the full tournament. We have many good players in our squad, both local and foreign players. Individual player can’t win a tournament; it has to be a collective effort. So we will be relying in all domestic and international players to step up and put up a team effort to win the games for us,” the coach added. 

Rangpur will face Chittagong Vikings in the tournament opener Saturday.