All-rounder Mehedi Hasan Miraz, who is hailed as the potential next big thing of Bangladesh cricket after the Big Five of Shakib Al Hasan, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad now has a new challenge ahead. The 21-year-old will be leading Rajshahi Kings in the sixth edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) as he was named captain of the side at their jersey unveiling ceremony in Hatirjheel yesterday.
Although captaincy is not a new thing to Mehedi as he already captained Bangladesh in the Under-19 World Cup in 2016 -- a tournament where he led the team to their first third-placed finish -- this is likely to be very different. After having played for the Kings in the previous two editions, this is the first time Mehedi will be leading the franchise -- a team comprising many senior players and overseas players.
“It is a big opportunity for me. I never captained a side in such a big tournament before," Mehedi said during the ceremony. "There was an age constraint when I led the under-19 side but here there are many overseas players and also many local players, so this is really a big tournament. I think it's a huge experience and a very good opportunity for me. I will try to give my 100 per cent and use my under-19 and age-level captaincy experiences here.”
Mehedi, who earned the player-of-the-tournament award when he was at the helm of the Under-19 side in the World Cup, opined that he enjoys the responsibility.
“I don't think of it as pressure. Since childhood I have always enjoyed captaincy. It is also good news for me as there are many senior players in the side from whom I can take advice.”
The 21-year old also thought of BPL as a big opportunity for him to work on his batting.
“It is an option for me that I can bat, so if I can do well here [BPL] I think I could try to fill gaps in the national team in the upcoming international matches.”
Although it is a bit early to say that Mehedi has what is needed to lead Bangladesh in the future but leading the Kings in the BPL is surely a huge opportunity for the young all-rounder to make a statement to be considered as an option to shoulder the national team's responsibilities after the Big Five.