The over-reliance on the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur as a practice venues is a common trend in Bangladesh, with all seven teams of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BBPL) often seen practising side by side at the crowded National Academy ground.
The foreign players and coaches of the seven teams are already in Dhaka as preparations for the BBPL are in full swing with the tournament kicking off tomorrow.
Rangpur Rangers head coach Mark O’Donnell, in Bangladesh for the first time, had first-hand experience of the overcrowding while conducting training yesterday.
“Six teams and some spectators as well, I am afraid that a ball will hit someone. I have never seen anything like this where so many teams are practising together in such a small place at the same time,” O’Donnell told reporters.
Despite the short lead-up to the tournament, the Kiwi was optimistic about his side, which contains the likes of Mustafizur Rahman as their local star alongside foreign recruits like Mohammad Nabi and Cameron Delport.
“This is my first time in Bangladesh and it’s a tight schedule where six teams are practising at the same ground. We do have some varieties in our team with some left-arm spinners and we also have Mustafizur. I am hopeful we will be able to have the balance. Actually, it’s everywhere that you don’t get enough time for preparation, such as the Caribbean Premier League, so the coaching staff also need to adjust with this situation,” he added.
Rajshahi Royals English coach Owais Shah was confident in his two T20 all-rounders Andre Russell and Ravi Bopara, alongside local cricketers Liton Das and Afif Hossain.
“It will be important to step up at the right time and I hope it will be interesting. Normally, batsmen get assistance from the pitch in T20s but I hope there will also be something for the seamers. The most important thing is that the fans are entertained,” Shah said.
Meanwhile, Khulna Tigers’ Pakistani left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir is aiming to finish as the highest wicket-taker.
With the likes of Mushfiqur Rahim, Shafiul Islam, young leg-spinner Aminul Islam and Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Amir -- who is the foreign recruit alongside Rilee Rossouw and Robbie Frylinck -- thought that Khulna are a strong outfit.
“I have just arrived but if you noticed we have a good team, especially the local cricketers. Personally, I want to become the highest wicket-taker in the tournament,” Amir said.