Former India U19 captain Unmukt Chand, who won the 2012 Youth World Cup, has become the first Indian ever to be drafted by a Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) franchise, as he will be turning out in BPL 2023 for Chattogram Challengers.
BCCI-contracted cricketers are not allowed to play in foreign leagues but Chand quit playing domestic cricket in India after signing a three-year deal with USA's Major League Cricket (MLC) in 2022.
Challengers picked Chand in the second round from the foreign players' category for the upcoming edition of the BPL, which begins on January 6. Unmukt Chand was also the first Indian to play in the Big Bash League last season, where he turned out for Melbourne Renegades.
"We have picked him (Chand) as we wanted to have an Indian in our squad plus we can also have a fan base in India," Challengers owner Rifatuzzaman told the media after the draft.
Comilla Victorians, the 2019-2020 champions, who had the first pick in the draft, opted for the in-form Litton Das, having earlier roped in Mustafizur Rahman as their direct signing.
"Yes, he (Liton) played for us and but we have picked Mustafizur (as direct signing) as we wanted to make sure that our bowling strength is not compromised. In that sense you can say we are lucky to have the first call and get Litton," Victorians head coach Mohammad Salahuddin told Cricbuzz.
Fortune Barishal bagged Mahmudullah and Shakib Al Hasan (direct signing) while Mushfiqur Rahim and Mashrafe Mortaza (direct signing) went to Sylhet Strikers. Mominul Haque remained unsold in the players' draft.
BPL 2023 squads:
Dhaka Dominators: Taskin Ahmed, Chamika Karunaratne, Dilshan Munaweera, Mohammad Mithun, Soumya Sarkar, Shoriful Islam, Arafat Sunny, Nasir Hossain, Al Amin Hossain, Shan Masud, Ahmad Shahzad, Alok Kapali, Monir Hossain Khan, Ariful Haque, Muktar Ali, Mizanur Rahman, Delwar Hossain, Usman Gani, Slaman Ershad.
Chattogram Challengers: Afif Hossain, Vishwa Fernando, Ashan Priyanjan, Curtis Campher, Mrittunjoy Chowdhury, Shuvagata Hom, Mehedy Hasan Rana, Mehedy Maruf, Ziaur Rahman, Maxwell Patrick O'Dowd, Unmukt Chand, Taijul Islam, Abu Zayed Rahi, Forhad Reza, Tawfiq Khan Tushar.
Fortune Barishal: Shakib Al Hasan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Wasim, Ibrahim Zadran, Karim Janat, Omar Kadir, Rahkeem Cornwall, Kesrick William, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Ebadot Hossain, Anamul Haque Bijoy, Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Fazle Mahmud Rabbi, Haider Ali, Chaturanga De Silva, Syed Khaled Ahmed, Saif Hasan, Kazi Anik, Sanjamul Islam, Salman Hossain.
Khulna Tigers: Tamim Iqbal, Avishka Fernando, Wahab Riaz, Naseem Shah, Azam Khan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Yasir Ali Chowdury, Nasum Ahmed, Nahidul Islam, Munim Shariar, Sabbir Rahman, Dashun Sanaka, Paul Van Meekeren, Shafiqul Islam, Pritom Kumer, Habibur Rahman Sohan, Mahmudul Hasan Joy.
Sylhet Strikers: Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Haris, Rayan Burl, Kamindu Mendis, Thisara Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Mushfiqur Rahim, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Rejaur Rahman Raja, Nabil Samad, Towhid Hridoy, Rubel Hossain, Tom Moors, Gulbadin Naib, Zakir Hasan, Nazmul Islam Apu, Akbar Ali, Md. Shafiullah, Tanzim Hasan Sakib.
Comilla Victorians: Mustafizur Rahman, Mohammad Rezwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nabi, Abrar Ahmed, Liton Das, Mosaddek Hossain, Tanvir Islam, Imrul Kayes, Md. Ashiqur Zaman, Jaker Ali Anik, Shaun Williams, Chadwick Walton, Md Saikat Ali, Abu Haider Rony, Nayeem Hasan, Md. Mukidul Islam Mugdho, Mahidul Islam Ankon
Rangpur Riders: Nurul Hasan, Shoaib Malik, Pathum Nissanka, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Nawaz, Jeffrey Vandersay, Sikandar Raza, Sk Mahedi Hasan, Hasan Mahmud, Mohammad Naim Sheikh, Rakibul Hasan Jr, Md. Shamim Hossain Patwary, Ripon Mondol, Azmatullah Omarzai, Aron Jones, Rony Talukder, Pervez Hossain Imon, Robiul Haque, Alauddin Babu.