They (Khulna Titans) are participating for the first time in BPL, Previously it was Khulna Royal Bengals. The team was originally formed by Orion Group and participated in the first two seasons of the Bangladesh Premier League in 2012 and 2012–13. Following the suspension of all of the BPL franchises following a range of financial and spot-fixing issues during the second season of the league, the original franchise was not re-established for the third season of the BPL in 2015–16. After a complete change in the franchise ownership and management Khulna Titans were established in advance of the 2016–17 Bangladesh Premier League.
As of the 2016–17 season, the team is captained by Mahmudullah Riyad and coached by Stuart Law. Khulna Titans are eyeing on a Trophy of BPL in their debut tournament. This team is a well-balanced side as they have many match winners in their squad. Let’s look at their strength’s and key players.
Key Players of Titans for this year’s edition are:
Lendl Simmons, Andre Fletcher, Junaid Khan, Kevin Cooper (overseas Players)
Mahmudullah Riyad, Alok Kapali, Shafi Ul Islam, Mosharaf Hossain (Local Players)
Lendl Simmons is known as a destructive hitter of the ball. He most often opens the innings but can play at low down the order. He has played t20 cricket everywhere as many of other overseas players are. Trinidad boy has a fantastic career, look at his stats. He has played 180 Twenty20 matches and scored 4902 runs is his career with best of 100 not out a lone hundred to his Twenty20 career. His career strike rate is 115.61. He has hit 190 sixes in his career; he also bowls and took 22 wickets.
Andre Fletcher is another hard hitter from West Indies, who can hit ball very hard. He is also an opener can keep the wickets occasionally for his sides. He has an experience of playing for Zouks in CPLT20. He is a wonderful striker of the ball already explained, but look at his number of sixes in Twenty20 Career, they are 110 in his 106 Twenty20 Matches in which he scored 2754 at an average of 29.29 with a career strike rate of 112.31.
Junaid Khan recently lost his central contract with PCB, but player like his caliber is more than enough to have it or not. He played lots of county cricket in England and performed exceptionally well and this year he will represent Titans in their hunt of BPLT20 trophy. The left arm fast can bring a lot in his 4 overs spell. He did for many teams by defending few runs in last over of the innings. His stats are worth watching. Junaid has over 300 first class wickets in his career, and talking about Twenty20. He played 80 Twenty20 matches and took 94 wickets.
Kevin Cooper is the man who remained top Wicket-taker last year in Bangladesh Premier League 2015-16. He bowls well and can hit hard batting at lower order, so he is handy pick for the Titans. He has tons of experience in playing T20 leagues around the world, his major teams are Chittagong Kings, Lahore Qalandars, Rajasthan Royals, Trinbago Knight Riders, and Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel. He played 141 matches and able to took 165 wickets in his career. With bat he has hit 30 sixes and his Strike Rate is awesome, which is 135.
Mahmudullah Riyad will lead the side this year. With his experience of playing lots of International Cricket will definitely help Titans. He is an all-rounder, bats at middle-order and bowls some off-spin. Riyad’s team is capable of winning this title as they are one of the balanced team of the league. Riyad’s individual career is, he played 113 Twenty20 matches and scored 1787 with his career best of 64 not out, with the support of 112.88 decent strike rate.
Alok Kapali is one of the Bangladeshi player, who came to play international cricket, He did well but suddenly vanished from the scene of international cricket. He continued his cricket at first class level, where he has played 137 first class matches and 181 List A matches respectively. He rated himself a hard-hitter who can bowl as well. He has also played 53 Twenty20 matches and scored 655 runs in his career and he also took 15 wickets in his Twenty20 Career.
Shafi Ul Islam is another medium fast bowler of Bangladesh, who proved his worth already. This year playing for Titans and with his presence Titans bowling attack is seems to be a good one. Islam played 49 Twenty20 matches in which he picked up 44 wickets at an average of 26.97 with 7.88 runs per over.
Mosharaf Hossain is the oldest player of the Squad, aged over 34 years. He is in the Bangladesh Cricket Circuit since long. He got a chance to play for his national team for only 5 ODIs. But then he never picked again, he played lots of first class cricket in Bangladesh and got 339 wickets so far. He played 38 Twenty20 matches as well in which he picked up 48 wickets at 4/9 is his career best. He bowls inside Power Play; irrespective of that his economy rate is only 6.33.
Other notable players of Khulna Titans are: Ben Laughlin, Benny Howell, Mohammad Asghar, Nicholas Pooran, Riki Wessels, Shuvagata Hom and rest.
Khulna Titans will be starting their campaign against Rangpur Riders on 4th of November 2016 (Tomorrow).
See also: Complete Schedule
HomeofT20 playing eleven for Khulna Titans:
Andre Fletcher, Lendl Simmons, Mahmudullah Riyad, Rikki Wessels, Alok Kapali, Ariful Haq, Shuvagat Hom, Kevin Cooper, Junaid Khan, Shafi Ul Islam, Mosharaf Hossain. Options Benny Howell, Ben Laughlin