Ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and left-arm pace sensation Mustafizur Rahman were both retained by their respective franchises for the tenth season of the Indian Premier League.
Shakib, who has been an integral part of two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders, and Mustafizur, last-year debutant for Sunrisers Hyderabad, will play for the two sides during the next IPL season scheduled to start in April 2017.
That means both players are out of the auction procedure, which is expected to take place early in 2017. The last day for release of the players ahead of the new season expired on December 15.
The decision by the two franchises to retain the two Bangladeshi players does not come as a surprise, but rather was certainly welcome as many big name players such as Jason Holder, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn and Eoin Morgan have been axed from their respective teams.
Mustafizur, who Sunrisers Hyderabad bought for 1.4 crore rupees last year for a two-year deal, went on to become a massive hit, having taken 17 wickets in 16 matches at a meagre economy rate of 6.7. The feat also helped his side win the IPL title for the first time, earning him the emerging player of the season award in the process. So there was little doubt that he would be retained for a second year by his franchise.
However, whether the lad from Satkhira will be able to wear the Sunrisers jersey for the second successive season is still in question as the Bangladesh Cricket Board officials have voiced concerns over his recurring injuries. The 20-year-old pacer, who missed home series against Afghanistan and England to recover from shoulder surgery in time to be on the New Zealand tour, might not be risked for another injury setback according to sources inside the BCB. The source also informed that BCB might be interested in compensating the young quick left-armer rather than risk another long injury lay-off.
Meanwhile, Shakib has no such issues at the moment, and will hope to contribute to Kolkata Knight Riders' campaign yet again. The 28-year-old all-rounder has so far featured in 42 matches for the franchise, scoring 497 runs and scalping 43 wickets. The left-hander's most recent franchise foray was in the just-concluded Bangladesh Premier League where he took 13 wickets and scored 226 runs in 14 appearances for eventual champions Dhaka Dynamites.