BPL 2022: The 'Mirpur gamble' Of Dhaka didn’t pay off

Ahnaf Wazed Khan | Monday, 14 February 2022

When the player’s draft of Bangabandhu BPL 2022 ended, quite a lot of eyebrows were raised after seeing the final team list of Dhaka. 

Some aged players who were visibly no longer properly functioning in T20 cricket, or who had some bad histories in this format were picked by the team management of Dhaka.

From one point of view, this team looked like a mistake, the squad looked like an exercise of nepotism.

But from a different point of view, it was a calculated gamble taken by the team management.

Although the fixtures of Bangabandhu BPL 2022 were not published before the drafts, it was decided and quite certain that Mirpur would host a large chunk of the games.

It is historically seen that the Governing Council of BPL has a tendency to give maximum possible matches to the home franchise, for instance, Dhaka will get the maximum matches possible at Mirpur, Chattogram will get the maximum matches possible at Chattogram and so on.

Also, it has become quite a culture to host multiple phases of games at Mirpur.

Considering these facts, it was evident that Dhaka will get a large chunk of matches at Mirpur, at least 7.

After the fixtures were announced, it became visible that Dhaka would have to play at least 8 games at Mirpur to become the champions.

Considering these and the squad the team management of Dhaka created, it looks like a well taken calculated gamble by them.

They picked the players who had the most possibilities to shine at Mirpur. To be more specific, who built a career based on Mirpur.

In Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mashrafe Mortaza, Rubel Hossain - you’d find some of the greatest cricketers of this venue.

Some other players like Shafiul Islam, Arafat Sunny, Jahurul Islam, Shuvagata Hom, Shamsur Rahman also built their careers based in Dhaka.

So it only makes sense to pick them when they had so much to play at Mirpur. The idea of picking such an aged squad may not look that bad after considering these facts.

But during all of these, what the franchise forgot was to read the game. Probably they forgot that it was a game of the shortest version and that they needed X-factors.

As a result, it went horribly wrong for them. They missed the play-offs providing some monotonous brand of cricket. It should be mentioned that this was the first time a franchise of Dhaka missed out on the play-offs.

Yet, they could have claimed their plan worked if they won a good amount of matches at Mirpur. But they didn’t.

They finished the campaign with 9 points - 4 wins with only 1 being in Mirpur, where they played 6 of their 10 matches. They won 2 out of 2 in Chattogram and 1 out of 2 in Sylhet.

This will remain as a lesson and the franchise team managements will surely not fall for such venue-trap in future.

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