Rajshahi Kings release Mushfiqur Rahim ahead of BPL 2019

Publish: 3:03 PM, October 3, 2018 | Update: 3:03:PM, October 3, 2018

Sports Desk: The Bangladesh Premier League franchise Rajshahi Kings have opted against retaining in-form Mushfiqur Rahim for the upcoming edition of the tournament. With the players’ draft scheduled for October 25, the participating teams were asked to submit their players’ retention list by September 30, reports Cricbuzz.
Rajshahi Kings are the only side to release their captain from the previous edition. They have retained Mominul Haque, Mehidy Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, and Zakir Hasan.
Rajshahi Kings CEO Tahmid Azizul Haque confirmed that Mushfiqur was released considering the team combination as they have already retained Mustafizur from the A+ category. “We can have only one icon [A+ category player],,” Haque said. “We had two icons in our team. We had to release Mushfiq due to the team’s planning, strategy, and combination. We’re retaining Zakir. Considering the schedule, we will need a local fast bowler at that time. Mustafiz is certainly the best in this regard.”
A+ category is the reintroduced version of ‘icon cricketers’ for the upcoming edition. Liton Das and Mustafizur Rahman had been added to this category alongside Mashrafe Mortaza, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, and Mahmudullah Riyad.
Chittagong Vikings’ last-moment refusal to take part in the tournament might turn it into a six-team competition in the upcoming season, which will start on January 5 next year.
Sylhet Sixers retained one less cricketer than the predetermined quota as they named Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, and Sohail Tanvir in their players’ retention list. Sabbir was their icon cricketer last season, but he could not make it to the A+ category this time as he was handed a six-month international ban by the Bangladesh Cricket Board.
However, Sylhet have recently added Liton Das as their A+ category player. The right-hander played for Comilla Victorians last season, who decided not to retain him as they already have an A+ category player in their captain from the last season – Tamim Iqbal. Imrul Kayes, Mohammad Saifuddin, and Shoaib Malik are the other three cricketers retained by the Comilla-based franchise.
The reigning champions, Rangpur Riders, made no surprise moves at the first stage of their team-formation as they have retained Chris Gayle, Mohammad Mithun, and Nazmul Islam, alongwith Mashrafe, who led the team to their first title in the tournament last year and ended the competition as the highest wicket-taker for his side. The other two players on their list, Mithun and Nazmul, have also been instrumental in Bangladesh’s success in white-ball in the recent times.
“We’ve retained Chris Gayle, Apu (Nazmul Islam), Mashrafe, and Mithun. We are releasing Rubel [Hossain] and [Brendon] McCullum. Chris Gayle won us the title [last season], so we had to keep him. He is a player worth being retained,” a Rangpur Riders source said.
The runners-up of the last season, Dhaka Dynamites have also retained their captain from the last season, Shakib, alongside three other Windies cricketers – Sunil Narine, Rovman Powell, and Kieron Pollard.
Khulna Titans, too, have retained their captain and A+ category player Mahmudullah. Ariful Haque, Nazmul Hossain, and Carlos Brathwaite are other three cricketers who will be seen in the same BPL outfit next season.