The forthcoming Bangladesh Premier League is getting even bigger with the inclusion of some of the Twenty20 megastars, who were released by the South Africa’s T20 Global League franchises following the postponement of the tournament. Some BPL franchises used the opportunity to the fullest to strengthen their squad ahead of the tournament, beginning in Sylhet on November 4 with host Sylhet Sixers facing holders Dhaka Dynamites.
Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum was the latest inclusion in the list as he joined Rangpur Riders.
McCullum was added as a marquee international of Joburg Giants, a franchise of Global T20 league and the postponement of the tournament made the way for the veteran playing his first BPL tournament of his career.
The former Kiwi wicketkeeper-batsman, who retired from international Twenty20s in 2015, is still the leading run-scorer in this format with 2,140 runs at a strike rate of 136.21 and was featured in many domestic Twenty20 tournaments since then.
Rangpur Riders, however, will miss his service in their first three matches as McCullum made himself available only from the third week of November.
It means hard-hitting batsman may play his first BPL match against Comilla Victorians on November 18.
Earlier, Rangpur Riders also recruited Sri Lankan speedster Lasith Malinga, who was not in players’ draft.
Despite having the best possible foreign recruitments in the forthcoming tournament, the defending champions Dynamites included Caribbean all-rounder Kieron Pollard in their squad this week.
Teams rushed to get the Global T20 stars as Pakistan Cricket Board decided not to give the NOCs to their centrally contracted players until November 17 due to their National T20 Cup.
A total of 10 Pakistani centrally contracted players including Mohammad Amir, Shoaib Malik, Hassan Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed and Babar Azam were picked by different franchises of the BPL for this year.
-With New Age input