The seventh season of the Bangladesh Premier League, renamed as Bangabandhu BPL for this season, is set to kick off from 11 December 2019 and will run till 16 January 2020. The tournament was initially scheduled to start five days earlier on 6 December 2019 and end on 11 January 2020. The contract of Chittagong Vikings was cancelled earlier and it was announced that the team would not be competing in the BPL 07 and that it would be replaced by two new teams. However, the plan was dropped and the Vikings were reinstated. So just like the previous edition, there will be a total of seven participating teams - Chittagong Vikings, Comilla Victorians, Dhaka Dynamites, Khulna Titans, Rajshahi Kings, Rangpur Riders and Sylhet Sixers. The BPL 2019-20 will be played across two venues - Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong and the Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium in Dhaka.
Read on for team previews, betting odds, tips and predictions for Bangladesh Premier League 2019-20...
Chittagong Vikings have reached the playoffs three times in their six appearances in the Bangladesh Premier League. Their best performance came in the 2012–13 season when they finished runners-up. In 2016, they finished third on the points table at the end of the league round but lost to Rajshahi Kings in the Eliminator. In the previous season as well, the Vikings finished as the third-ranked team on the leaderboard with seven wins and five losses. They had a fabulous start with six wins from their first seven matches but ended up losing four of their last five league encounters. They faced Dhaka Dynamites in the Eliminator and were knocked out of the competition with a six-wicket defeat. Chittagong's Mushfiqur Rahim was one of the top run-scorers of the tournament last time while Abu Jayed was the team's best bowler having taken 18 wickets.
Comilla Victorians won their second BPL title last time in what was only their fourth appearance in the tournament. They even emerged winners in 2015 in which they made their debut. 2016 was disappointing for them where they ended up sixth in the league standings but they bounced back strongly next year to make the playoffs after topping the standings. The defending champions finished second on the points table last season with eight wins and four losses. They beat Rangpur Riders by 8 wickets in Qualifier 1 before defeating Dhaka Dynamites by 17 runs in the final. Tamim Iqbal was the leading run-getter for Comilla Victorians and he finished as the tournament's second-best batsman with 467 runs. Mohammad Saifuddin finished among the tournament's top five bowlers with 20 wickets which included a four-wicket haul.
Dhaka Dynamites are the most successful team of the Bangladesh Premier League having won the tournament three times and finishing runners-up on two occasions. They won the first two editions of the tournament in 2012 and 2013 and have finished runners-up in the previous two editions. The Dynamites secured their third title in 2016 and they are the only team to have qualified for the playoffs in every season. Last time, they barely made it through to the playoffs after finishing fourth on the leaderboard with six wins and as many losses. They registered convincing victories over Chittagong Vikings and Rangpur Riders in the Eliminator and Qualifier 2 respectively before going down to Comilla Victorians in the final. Rony Talukdar was the leading run-scorer for Dhaka Dynamites with 317 runs while Shakib Al Hasan topped the bowling charts with 23 wickets.
Khulna Titans will continue their quest for their maiden BPL title this season. The team has reached the playoffs three times out of five and is yet to make an appearance in the final of the tournament. 2016 has been the most successful season for the team where they came third. Last year, the Titans finished second from the bottom on the points table at the end of the league stage with just a couple of wins from twelve matches. They lost their first three fixtures and completed their dismal campaign with defeats in their last three matches. They played their last match against Dhaka Dynamites in which they suffered a six-wicket loss. Junaid Siddique scored the most runs for Khulna Titans last season with 298 runs while Taijul Islam took the most wickets (13) for them.
Rajshahi Kings went through to the playoffs in their first two BPL seasons in 2012 and 2013. They did not play the next season in 2015 and returned in 2016 in style, finishing runners-up - their best performance in the history of the tournament. The Kings, however, have been a bit under par since the previous two editions, ending up in the bottom-half of the points table. They came fifth in the league standings last time with six wins from twelve matches. They were inconsistent all through the tournament and narrowly missed out on the playoffs spot due to their inferior net run-rate to Dhaka Dynamites. Laurie Evans scored the most runs for Rajshahi Kings last season with 339 runs and Arafat Sunny claimed 16 wickets to finish as their best bowler.
Rangpur Riders are champions of the 2017-18 season when they outplayed Dhaka Dynamites in the final to win their first-ever BPL title. Their overall performance in the tournament has been pretty impressive having qualified for the playoffs on three occasions since making their debut in 2013. In the previous edition, the Riders topped the standings at the end of the league round with eight wins and four defeats. They started off rather poorly with four losses in their first six matches before turning things around to win their next six fixtures on the bounce. They, however, lost both their qualifier encounters - against Comilla Victorians and Dhaka Dynamites. Rilee Rossouw was the tournament's best batsman last time having scored 558 runs while Mashrafe Mortaza was among the top bowlers with 22 wickets.
Sylhet Sixers are the only team in the tournament to have made the playoffs just once. Their best result came in the 2012–13 season where they reached the semi-finals after finishing second in the league standings. The Sixers ended up sixth on the points table last season with five wins and seven losses. They made a disappointing start to their campaign, suffering six defeats from their first eight matches. Their last league encounter came against Chittagong Vikings at Dhaka which they won quite convincingly by 29 runs. Nicholas Pooran was the leading run-getter for Sylhet Sixers with 379 runs while Taskin Ahmed finished as the tournament's second-highest wicket-taker with 22 wickets.
Sylhet Sixers have a pretty ordinary record in the Bangladesh Premier League. They have failed to qualify for the playoffs in their previous three appearances and will likely struggle to make their place in the top four this season as well. Khulna Titans are the only other team to have never reached the finals of the tournament and so wagering on them would be a huge risk. Rajshahi Kings are another team who we don't think will be able to go past the league stage of the BPL 07.
Comilla Victorians, Dhaka Dynamites, Rangpur Riders and Chittagong Vikings all qualified for the playoffs last time and are expected to go a long way this time as well. Dhaka Dynamites are the most successful and consistent team of the tournament. They have finished runners-up on the last two occasions and emerged champions in the season before that. Comilla Victorians, Rangpur Riders and Chittagong Vikings are all very strong contenders for the title, but we feel it is Dhaka Dynamites who will triumph in this seventh edition of the BPL.
Final Verdict: Back Dhaka Dynamites to win the Bangladesh Premier League 2019-20.
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