As the excitement grows over the first-ever Bangladesh Premier League, the Dhaka Gladiators has been the first team to get organised and begin the preparation camp quickly. Thanks to the franchise owners focusing on the playing side of things, we are already 4 days in to the Dhaka Gladiators training camp with overseas players Alexei Kervezee and Darren Stevens plus the local DPL players when we can get them.
It's been very useful for both Alexei and Darren to get time at the crease in Dhaka conditions at the SNBS, Mirpur as Darren has been indoors this winter in the UK and Alexei playing for the Netherlands in the Caribbean T20.
Mashrafee bin Mortaza full speed ahead and in full flow at Dhaka Gladiators training
The most heartening thing has been to see Mashrafee bowling from a full run and building up his speed and timing. Under the guidance of DG physio Vib Singh, he has built up a good base of intensity. When he can train with us he is bowling 4-5 overs and working on his control.
Ashraful had a hit with us first day and looked tremendous with the bat. His strokes and timing were particularly impressive. Speaking with him he is very excited at playing in the BPL and is extremely keen to do well. Today he had a good bowl. With both Mash and Ash feeling they can make a real difference, it is good for DG to have such experience on hand.
Anamul Bijoy, Nazimuddin, Aftab Ahmed and Dhiman Ghosh were able to train with us on the academy ground today and get a feel for working with the coaching staff, plus do some good technical training with fielding coach, Julien Fountain.
Imran Nazir will be joining us today for training in between DPL matches and Rana Naved ul-Hasan has now flown in from Pakistan to join the ever-growing squad. Pakistani T20 specialist Azhar Mahmood just arrived at the team hotel. Azhar was a key player in the Auckland Aces success at the HRV Cup, who won the competition recently. Match-winners such as these guys play an important role in the dynamics of the squad.
Assistant Coach Mohammed Rafique will be with us full-time once his commitments to the DPL are over. I look forward to working along side him as I have done with the great relationship I have with Habibul Bashar. It's very useful to have such good people around the camp.
We start to train under lights in the next two days as well. Each day more players are arriving, fresh from having played in tournaments elsewhere in the world. It is an exciting time ahead for the BPL and the Dhaka Gladiators.