Comilla Victorians, as their name suggests Victorians. They are the defending champions of Bangladesh Premier League. They were victorious last year playing for first time. After the expansion of BPL took place during last year. The team is currently owned by Nafisa Kamal, while A H M Mustafa Kamal serves as an honorary member of the board. The team is captained by Bangladesh national cricket team captain Mashrafe Mortaza. The Comilla Victorians were created when the decision was made to expand the number of teams and move away state representative teams to city-based teams for the third season of the competition. With the revamp of Bangladesh Premier League, a scope was created for interested bidders to bid for Comilla-based franchise, being the second largest city in Chittagong Division. The legal franchise rights were sold to Nafisa Kamal (Legends Sporting Limited), a former owner of defunct franchise Sylhet Royals. The rights were bought at US$27.50 million for five years. During October 2015, Comilla Victorians was officially established, thus becoming the second team to play from Chittagong Division, after Chittagong Vikings.
This year they will be banking more on their overseas players, so why not take a look at their players and their stats.
Key Players of Victorians for this year’s edition are:
Imad Wasim, Sohail Tanveer, Thisara Parera, Rashid Khan, Ashar Zaidi (Overseas Players)
Masharafe Mortaza, Imrul Kayes, Nabil Samad, Liton Das (Local Players)
Imad Wasim is not an oldest entry to international scene, but he made his name at top level. He is a match winner for Pakistan in limited overs Cricket. His all-round capabilities helped teams to win their matches. More importantly he gave captains a freedom to use him in Power Plays in limited overs especially in Twenty20 Cricket. Recently he performed exceptionally well against West Indies. He gave credit to CPL about all of his recent performances, representing Jamaica Tallawahas (Champions of CPL 2016). He bowled some exceptional spells and gave many match winning bowling spells to Tallawahas. Imad Wasim will hold key for success for Victorians this year during Power Play in the absence of Mohammad Amir, who will be busy in performing national duty in New Zealand during that time (not picked up because of this). Have a look at his twenty20 career. He played 74 Twenty20 matches and scored 703 runs at a good strike rate of 124.20, while eyeing on his Bowling career, He is more capable than his stats. He has picked up 72 wickets in his all Twenty20 matches at an economy of 6.32 which is perfect when a bowler is tend to bowl inside Power Plays.
Vikings picked another talented Pakistani, who is best when it comes to Twenty20 Cricket. He played cricket all over the world, and performed always and gave his 100 % to team’s victories. Starting from inaugural Indian Premier League, representing Rajisthan Royals to this year’s CPL. He is economical, He is varying his pace more often and don’t forget he is the man who is landing wrong footed while bowling. This wrong footed landing helped a lot & also supporting tool to him and enough to bather batsmen most of occasions. Name of this Bowler is Sohail Tanveer. His stats are superb. He played 223 Twenty20 matches and he took 238 wickets at 6/14 his best figure which came against CSK representing Rajisthan Royals in 2008. He has scored 1660 runs as well at a good average and healthy Strike Rate, Helped many of his teams by his batting as well.
Thisara Parera is another amazing all-rounder picked by victorians. He can bat with fierce strikes and bowls well at both death and middle overs, which is always a good choice for captain. He is also a very good fielder; On the whole he is a complete package to watch out. Looking at his stats He played 178 Twenty20 matches in which he scored 1955 at a very good strike rate of 141.46.He has also picked up 155 wickets in his Twenty20 Career. He has also pouched 69 catches while fielding at outfields.
Rashid Khan is a leg-spinner represented Afghanistan at international arena. He is picked up to give more strength to their bowling attack, but he can also go Big while batting. We saw some glimpses of his batting against Bangladesh during last series against them. Rashid Khan is yet to cross his 19 years of age; he has to wait for his 19th Birthday and gets a call from an international franchise in an international type of league, which is pretty good for his future. He has played only 14 twenty20 matches in which he took 19 wickets at an economy rate of 6.93, which is very good for a leggie.
Ashar Zaidi a Karachi-born all-rounder with a British passport, he performed very well for Sussex but was unable to hold down a regular place and was released at the end of 2015. He caught the eye during the 2015-16 Bangladesh Premier League; however, being named Man of the Series after helping Comilla Victorians to earn the title, and also played for Islamabad United and soon after signed a one-year deal with Essex. This year he continued his performance for Sussex and won few matches single handedly for them. Once again he earned his place to play for Victorians. He played 45 twenty20 matches and scored 801 runs with career best of 59 not out came out this year playing for Sussex against Middlesex. He took 31 wickets so far bowling slow left arm. Moreover you can say he is also a handy player who will help Comilla Victorians to win many matches.
They have many more overseas players to discuss but now limiting on those discussed above and starting to discuss on what they have in the form of local boys. Mashrafe Mortaza is their captain as he laid team last year to become champion. He will continue his job by leading the side. He is also Bangladesh national team captain for limited overs cricket. He is rated as an all-rounder as well. He is capable of hitting big and getting quick runs for his teams, helped teams a lot. Looking at his Twenty20 career, he played 105 matches, scored over 650 runs at a healthy strike rate of 130. While bowling for his teams in twenty20. He was able to pick up 84 wickets.
Imrul Kayes is a promising opening batsman, played for Bangladesh & other teams. Recently he played exceptionally well against England during test matches, which is a very good news for Victorians. He played 60 Twenty20 matches and scored 1341 with his highest score of 82 not out at an average of 23.12 with a good strike rate of 116.20. This year they will be banking on him for a long innings during their campaign.
Nabil Samad is an experienced player, who played lots of cricket at first class level in Bangladesh. He has taken over 300 first class wickets and 109 List-A wickets respectively in his career. He has played 35 Twenty20 matches and took only 21 wickets, definitely he will look to improve these stats while playing for Victorians in Bangladesh Premier League.
Liton Das is wicket-keeper batsman, played 23 Twenty20 matches in which he scored 346 runs at a good strike rate of 117.68; He has 9 scalps while fielding behind the wickets. Liton Das was the first choice than Mushfiqur Rahim, but later on Mushfiq picked up in team and then he never got a chance. But he is quality wicket-keeper and also does good batting. He is averaging near to 50 in his first class batting career
Other notables for Comilla Victorians are Shahzaib Hasan, Nuwan Kulasekara, Jason Holder, Khalid Latif, Rovman Powell, and Mohammad Sharif
Comilla Victorians are starting their campaign against in an opener against Rajshahi Kings on 4th of November 2016.
See also: Complete Schedule
HomeofT20 playing eleven for Comilla Victorians:
Shahzaib Hasan, Khalid Latif, Imrul Kayes, Liton Das, Ashar Zaidi, Thisara Parera, Imad wasim, Masharfe Mortaza, Nabil Samad, Mohammad Sharif, Nahid ul Islam.
Stats Courtesy: espncricinfo on 1st November 2016.