The 2019-20 Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) which was held from December 11, 2019- January 17, 2020, witnessed seven teams (Chattogram Challengers, Cumilla Warriors, Dhaka Platoon, Khulna Tigers, Rajshahi Royals, Rangpur Rangers and Sylhet Thunder) battling it out for the title.
In the highly anticipated finals, the Andre Russell-led Rajshahi Royals defeated Mushfiqur Rahim’s Khulna Tigers by 21 runs to claim their first BPL title. A total of three venues (Chittagong, Dhaka and Sylhet) hosted 46 matches through season seven with the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka hosting the majority of the games (28) including the Qualifiers, Eliminator and final.
It was another exhilarating edition of BPL where several top international cricketers and most importantly the talented domestic players exhibited top-class cricket much to the delight of cricket-crazy Bangladesh fans. Though there were several memorable performances in 2019-20 edition of BPL, a few players were exceptional throughout the season. Much to the surprise, these players actually went unsold at the 2019 IPL auction held at Kolkata on 19 December.
On that note, let us look at four unsold players of 2020 IPL auction who impressed during 2019-20 Bangladesh Premier League:
1. Rilee Rossouw
Rossouw who finished 2018-19 Bangladesh Premier League as the tournament’s highest run-getter repeated the feat once again having emerged as the highest run-getter of this edition with 495 runs at a strike-rate of 155.17 for Khulna Tigers. The southpaw who amassed four half-centuries throughout this season (highest score being 71*) has been a consistent performer in Vitality T20 Blast and Pakistan Super League apart from his exploits in the BPL.
Despite proving his credentials in other T20 leagues, the 30-year-old couldn’t make it big in the cash-rich Indian Premier League. Rossouw’s first and only IPL stint so far has been with the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore squad during 2014 and 2015 editions of the IPL where he made just five appearances across those two seasons managing 53 runs.
It was indeed a rare failure and a forgettable two-year stint for Rossouw considering the number of runs he has scored across formats. Unfortunately, the Protea batsman couldn’t earn an IPL contract thereafter having found no buyers at the auctions. Despite being in a red-hot form, he went unsold at 2020 IPL auction with a base price of INR 1 crore and it is surprising to see franchises showing no interest in a player who is experienced enough and has been consistent with the bat across all three formats of the game.
2. Mustafizur Rahman
Mustafizur was one of the hottest prospects when he made his ODI debut back in June 2015 against India. Having tormented the Indian batsmen during his debut series, he earned his first IPL contract in season nine (2016) with Sunrisers Hyderabad. An impressive performance from the left-arm seamer saw him finishing 2016 IPL with 17 wickets at an economy of 6.90 for the David Warner-led side thereby being one the vital cogs in their first IPL title win.
The Emerging Player of 2016 IPL then moved to Mumbai Indians ahead of 2018 IPL for INR 2.2 crore but couldn’t replicate his magic for the four-time winners managing just seven wickets in as many matches at an economy of 8.36. The 24-year-old who missed 2019 IPL was expected to earn a lucrative contract ahead of season thirteen having been sensational at 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup with 20 wickets to his name in just eight matches.
Unfortunately, the Khulna-born pacer went unsold at Kolkata with a base price of INR 1 crore. Nevertheless, he continued his impressive run in the 2019-20 Bangladesh Premier League where he emerged as the joint highest wicket-taker with 20 scalps at an economy of 7.01 representing Rangpur Rangers.
The injury-prone left-arm-medium-fast bowler deserved a comeback to the IPL with a lucrative contract ahead of 2020 IPL having proved his worth at 2019 World Cup and BPL season seven. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case!
3. Mushfiqur Rahim
The highest run-scorer (2274 runs) in the history of Bangladesh Premier League, Mushfiqur Rahim once again proved his consistency with the willow in the league. Having scored just four runs less (491 runs) of Rilee Rossouw’s tally of 495 runs at a strike-rate of 147.00, Mushfiqur emerged as the second-highest run-getter of this season with his highest being 98* (includes four half-centuries).
The wicket-keeper batsman had a memorable outing during the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup having amassed 367 runs at an average of 52.42. During Bangladesh’s tour of India in November 2019, the 32-year-old helped his side in registering their first T20I win over India with a splendid knock (60* off 43 balls) under pressure in the first T20I at Delhi before finishing the two-match test series as his side’s highest run-getter (second overall) with 181 runs to his name.
Despite going unsold in the previous IPL auctions, he was expected to land a lucrative IPL contract this time given his exploits at the 2019 World Cup and during Bangladesh’s tour of India. Unfortunately, Mushfiqur found no buyers in the auction held at Kolkata last month to once again go unsold with a base price of INR 75 lakh. Nevertheless, he put behind the disappointment by not just scoring heavily for Khulna Tigers but also leading his side to a runner-up finish in 2019-20 BPL.
4. Lewis Gregory
Well, this name might be a bit surprising but such was Gregory’s all-round performance during the seventh edition of BPL. Playing for Rangpur Rangers, the English all-rounder who took a wicket on his first-ever delivery in T20Is amassed 262 runs at a strike-rate of 140.10 apart from picking up 15 wickets. Though his team finished sixth among seven teams, the Plymouth-born player who has proved himself in Vitality T20 Blast made a mark with both bat and the ball.
The Somerset star who has five T20I appearances so far under his belt will be leading the England Lions side during their tour of Australia which begins next week. Gregory who is aiming to book a ticket to 2020 T20 World Cup might brighten his prospects of making it to the event if he puts up a good show during the Australia tour.
An experienced campaigner, Gregory who has displayed his credentials across formats (2491 runs, 264 wickets in First-class, 1206 runs, 106 wickets in List A and 1268 runs, 96 wickets in T20 cricket) is an ideal limited-overs commodity given his ability to torment batsmen with his right fast-medium spells apart from his contributions with the willow low down the order.
After going unsold with a base price of INR 40 lakh at the 2019 IPL auction, his fortunes remained same this time as well as he found no buyers with a base price of INR 50 lakh. Despite the IPL snub, Gregory might make it big at the International stage if he could continue his all-round exploits
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