Within a year’s time, the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) is back with another edition. Compared to all the previous editions of the tournament, this edition of the league is quite different. All the sides taking part in the tournament have been rechristened as the BCB has done away with the franchises this time.
While this new format brings a lot of excitement about it, there is something else bothering the fans. Some of the legendary cricketers – who have been amongst the top-performers in the BPL, might be playing the same for the last time. Given their age and fitness levels, it is tough to see them continue for another edition. Thus, it will be an emotional farewell and the fans will hope that these cricketers perform well.
Here are three veteran players who might be playing their last BPL:
1. Chris Gayle
Until a few days ago, there have been a few doubts if Chris Gayle would take part in BPL 2019-20. However, it has now been confirmed and the Jamaican will be representing the Chattogram Challengers. The opener is amongst one of the most prolific run-scorers in the Bangladesh Premier League.
Amongst the batsmen who scored over 1,200 runs in the league, Chris Gayle has played the fewest number of games. In 38 matches so far, he amassed 1,338 runs at an average of 42. Furthermore, his strike rate is in the high 150s and has smashed 120 sixes in the league.
With five centuries, the 40-year-old tops this chart as well. However, we might not see Chris Gayle in the next edition of the BPL. He is already 40 and is at the twilight of his career. Moreover, the West Indies cricketer has shown some hesitance to take part in the BPL this year as well and thus this season could be his last.
2. Mashrafe Mortaza
Who would have ever thought that the teams wouldn’t be interested in picking the most successful captain of BPL? Mashrafe Mortaza has been battling several injuries in the recent past. The all-rounder has had issues with his back and has also been nursing a groin injury.
As a result, he was picked in the fourth round of the player’s draft by the Dhaka Platoon. Mashrafe led three BPL teams in the past and won the title at least once for each of these three sides. This will be the first big tournament he will be playing since the World Cup 2019.
Given his injury-prone nature and injury history, it is difficult for Mashrafe Mortaza to prolong his career for a long time. By the time he will play the next season, he will be 37. May be to prolong his career at the international level, he could bid goodbye to the BPL.
3. Shahid Afridi
Ever since his international retirement, Shahid Afridi has become a globetrotter. The Pakistan cricketer is playing in most of the T20 leagues all around the world. The veteran cricketer decided to play one more BPL season and will represent the Dhaka Platoon this time.
Often, teams have looked at him as a finisher in their batting line-up. Thus, he scored only 500 runs in 30 innings at an average of 19. But it is his strike rate of 152 which is highly impressive. With the ball, he has been as impressive as anyone else. In 39 games, he picked up 55 wickets at an economy just over 6.
However, as he is ageing, the amount of impact Afridi has been able to make for his teams has reduced. He is one of the oldest cricketers playing in the BPL 2019-20 at 44. Carrying on for one more season seems quite improbable and thus, he could be playing his final season.
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