Has anyone seen any county cricketers this winter? Maybe walking forlornly around the local Arndale Centre, checking their reflection in an empty shop window or sitting in the park talking to the ducks?
The chances are you haven’t. And that’s because all of them are in Bangladesh. Should you visit the Arndale Centre in Chittagong or venture down Dhaka High Street this month, you’ll never be more than five yards from a county cricketer. And that is a fact. It may even be a scientific fact. Now, regular readers (hi Editor Steve!) will know we tend to salute players venturing off to sunnier climes to learn and develop. It is generally recognized as a good thing: they grow accustomed to different climates, foreign conditions and can hopefully learn from their new teammates. However the Bangladesh Premier League is clearly not the most prestigious tournament in the world, and the standard perhaps only marginally better than the Big Bash. Yet fair play, as ever, to these lads for heading there – even if their wage packet might be the main reason for heading out there. Surely even Owais Shah can learn from playing alongside Mohammad Ashraful…
The BPL is a beast of a competition. For a start, it doesn’t have teams paying $1m to Glenn Maxwell. The main reason, is because it doesn’t have teams paying $1m to Glenn Maxwell. And for afters? It doesn’t have anyone paying anything to Glenn Maxwell, or indeed, it seems, anything to anyone.
We could waffle about the playing conditions and the issue of late payment to players, but we thought we’d rather show how each of these players are performing in the BPL, we therefore have decided to present you the facts and figures that matter. Incidentally, the round-robin group has now finished (12 matches per side), with a swathe of finals to come: Dhaka (1st) beat Sylhet (2nd) in the ‘Race to the Final’ (thanks to Chris Gayle going ruddy bloody mental). Chittagong (3rd) now play Rajshahi (4th) in the first semi-final to see who gets to play Sylhet in the second semi-final. Got that? Good.
|NAME||TEAM||MATCHES||RUNS||AVERAGE||STRIKE RATE||WICKETS||ECONOMY RATE||COMMENTS|
|KABIR ALI||Barisal Burners||7||100||25.00||153.84||7||9.38||No comment.|
|MOEEN ALI||Duronto Rajshahi||5||46||11.50||88.46||3||8.85||All his wickets came in one innings. Scored two ducks in four innings.|
|RAVI BOPARA||Chittagong Kings||7||101||16.83||91.81||4||7.10||Hopefully the England selectors were paying attention this time.|
|JOSHUA COBB||Dhaka Gladiators||12||173||21.62||138.40||0||10.50||Dhaka came top of the group.|
|JOE DENLY||Barisal Burners||9||123||15.37||99.19||-||-||See Jason Roy.|
|CHRIS LIDDLE||Dhaka Gladiators||9||0||0.00||0.00||5||7.88||Took four innings to take his first wicket and eight matches to face his first ball.|
|DIMITRI MASCARENHAS||Rangpur Riders||3||25||25.00||138.88||5||6.08||Did you know he hit five sixes in a row once.|
|PHIL MUSTARD||Barisal Burners||12||142||14.20||96.59||6ct||4st||Craig Kieswetter-esque.|
|KEVIN O'BRIEN||Rangur Riders||11||131||18.71||124.76||12||7.05||Still dining out on his innings in the 2011 World Cup.|
|NIALL O'BRIEN||Rangpur Riders||7||91||18.20||110.97||5ct||2st||Still dining out on his brother's innings in the 2011 World Cup.|
|JASON ROY||Chittagong Kings||4||111||37.00||132.14||-||-||See Joe Denly.|
|OWAIS SHAH||Dhaka Gladiators||7||194||32.33||120.49||-||-||Potentially might become a proper Globetrotter, playing T20 cricket for wages like some kind of cramp-afflicted, run out-prone minstrel.|
|DARREN STEVENS||Dhaka Gladiators||11||203||40.60||150.37||0||8.25||Get him on England Watch!|
|PAUL STIRLING||Sylhet Royals||11||293||26.63||167.42||0||9.00||Tenth most runs in the tournament.|
|LUKE WRIGHT||Dhaka Gladiators||3||78||26.00||125.80||0||7.80||Left early to go and be bloody good for England.|