BPL 2019 team preview: Rangpur Riders

Published : 05 Jan 2019, 12:59

Sahos Desk

The sixth Bangladesh Premier League T20 event is almost set to begin. The last team of our team previews, we discuss the title-holders Rangpur Riders.

Rangpur Riders

The Riders are the oldest side among all active BPL teams. They made their debut in 2013, the second edition. Till now there has not been a second team representing Bangladesh’s northern part Rangpur.

Rangpur had ups and downs in their BPL history. They made into top four only twice out of four seasons. Their best result came in 2017 when they clinched their first-ever title in Mashrafe Bin Mortaza’s leadership.

Riders fought hard to be in top four, finishing round-robin stage as fourth with six wins from twelve matches. Dominating performances against Khulna Titans in the Eliminator and Comilla Victorians in Qualifier helped them reach finals. Caribbean star Chris Gayle’s 69-ball 146* powered the Riders to a 57-run win in the final against Dhaka Dynamites.

Rangpur Riders made the possible most star-studded side in BPL 2019. The franchise signed Englishman Alex Hales and former South African great AB de Villiers as well as retaining Mashrafe, Nazmul Islam Apu, Mohammad Mithun and Gayle.

The Riders had healthy buys at the players draft including Mehedi Maruf, Sohag Gazi, Ravi Bopara, Rilee Rossouw, Benny Howell and Oshane Thomas. Thomas was not handed NOC (No Objection Certificate) from CWI. Rangpur decided to rope Zimbabwean Sean Williams and Thomas’ Caribbean-mate Sheldon Cottrell.

The strong core of overseas players will be required to fire if Rangpur are to defend the title. Gayle will be available from the beginning of the tournament. de Villiers is expected to join later. Mashrafe, recently elected as MP (Member of Parliament), will look for his fifth BPL title as captain.

Rangpur Riders are arguably hot favourites to start the tournament. They will take on Chittagong Vikings in the opening match of BPL 6 in Dhaka on January 5.

Rangpur Riders squad: Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Nazmul Islam, Mohammad Mithun, Chris Gayle, Alex Hales, AB de Villliers, Shafiul Islam, Sohag Gazi, Farhad Reza, Mehedi Maruf, Ravi Bopara, Rilee Rossouw, Nahidul Islam, Nadif Chowdhury, Abul Hasan, Fardin Hossain, Benny Howell, Sheldon Cottrell, Sean Williams

Source: bdcrictime

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