AsÂ the roadshow finally arrived in Chittagong, the teams are getting to grips once again with slow pitches and difficult batting conditions. The ball spinning and stopping, low bounce and slow wickets mean the batsmen have to work extra hard. We will not be seeing as many easy 6s here as we have seen in Dhaka.
Although The Dhaka Gladiators didn't play yesterday, we had the chance to work at the stadium and check out the pitches. And from yesterday's extremely close matches, we can see the BPL is going to be a very tight finish for the top 4 slots.
What has been a bit hard to follow are the constant comings and goings of overseas players. It looks like teams are trying to bring players in to help them boost their results and we have a change in competition rules during the tournament about additional players. It appears that squads can be extended further than the original 18 and there are rumours flying around about who might or might not be coming in for other sides. Some fresh faces have suddenly started to arrive. The fact remains that the Dhaka Gladiators are still with the original 18 players chosen at auction, with 16 currently here as has been the case throughout with both Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal to join us for the semi-finals and finals, should we make it that far. This has always been the case and has been our position from the beginning when the player auction first took place.Â
I want to commend Duronto Rajshahi for their tremendous run of victories now and the momentum is certainly behind them. This is exactly the type of run you need going into the second round of matches. However, the objective is make the top four not finish top of the group. You don't win anything by winning the group. The time to peak for the teams in contention is for the last few matches of the tournament. On paper we could have 7 matches still to play from here. So staying in touch with the pack and keeping our awesome team spirit going are the objectives from this point to the end. It's not where you start that matters but how you finish that counts.
The second phase starts with KRB in this afternoon's match. They scraped a win yesterday when it seemed Sylhet were certain to break their run of losses. It just shows us all how important a handful of runs one way or the other can be.
Regardless of the way the games go, we are trying to base our whole ethos on good management of players and maintaining a healthy spirit in the camp. Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.Â