The attention now shifts to how much fun the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), which is scheduled to start on January 19, can provide this time around.
The focus will quickly shift to the contested wickets that will be used in this BPL. This is because better wickets make for a more entertaining competition, but also because the national team will be using the results of the BPL as a starting point for selection and preparation for the T20 World Cup in June.
In the past, the BPL’s high game frequency led to worn-out wickets, which discouraged fans from attending the franchise T20 competition. The previous time around, the pattern was reversed as quality wickets resulted in runs, helping the national team along the way. Batters like Rony Talukdar, Towhid Hridoy, and Najmul Hossain Shanto, who finished as the top three run scorers in the previous edition, showcased their talent with impactful innings, with the latter two being called up to the national team following their BPL performances.
During the most recent home Tests against New Zealand, Shanto—the team’s temporary captain in all three formats—said they needed better wicket takers for white-ball contests. The notion gained traction after Bangladesh’s disappointing performance in the ODI World Cup, as their batsmen failed to reach their full potential.
The three national selectors, curator Gamini de Silva of the Mirpur stadium, and head of the BCB Grounds Committee Mahbub Anam examined the wickets yesterday. The same requirements for the wickets apply this time as well, and better wickets may make future selections simpler for selectors.
“In order for batsmen to perform their strokes, we always want wickets that create runs, just as T20 matches should. This time, too, that’s all we want. We are hopeful that we will get those sort of wickets, and the wickets are getting some time to prepare. We are expecting for decent cricket this time around since the pitch got some rest,” selector Habibul Bashar said.
Across eight matches in the most recent BPL, the fourth phase in Sylhet scored 2,580 runs, with an innings average of more than 161 runs. at eight matches, the first phase at Mirpur averaged 152 runs per innings. However, in the venue’s third and fifth phases (four and ten games), the innings average dropped to 138 and 142, respectively. The innings average did, however, increase to above 162 in four matches throughout the eliminators, qualifying round, and championship game.
When asked why certain games don’t result in run-fests, Bashar said, “The problem this season is that games end at 10pm and there is a game again in the afternoon and the wicket doesn’t get enough time to dry up from dew.”
The T20 World Cup, which will be contested in the USA and the West Indies, will primarily concentrate on getting hitters into the flow. Bashar anticipated that the wickets in the ICC event would be more sporting than those that are prepared for bilateral series, but he was unable to provide a reasonable estimate of what to expect from pitches in New York, Dallas, or Saint Vincent, where Bangladesh will play the four group-stage matches.
Better wickets would allow batsmen to get more out of their strokes and maybe cultivate the kind of fearless mentality that’s required to elevate Bangladesh’s Twenty20 cricket to new heights. As was previously shown in India, it helps bowlers who need more preparation on flat surfaces.