Pakistan captain Babar Azam has become a part of the Rangpur Riders squad for the upcoming ninth season of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), set to kick off in January. The renowned Pakistan batter, considered one of the best in the world, has inked a direct contract with the former champions of the BPL.
Despite receiving an enticing offer from the UAE’s ILT20, Babar Azam decided to opt for the BPL, which led to some initial confusion about which BPL team he would join.
However, following the conclusion of the Bangladesh-Pakistan match in the Asia Cup, it was confirmed that Babar would be donning the Rangpur jersey. Interestingly, Rangpur chose to keep this announcement low-key, adding an element of mystery surrounding Babar’s inclusion in the team.
Rangpur Riders Facebook post reads, “We are here with another surprise after signing the world’s No. 1 all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan in the fight for victory! Dear Rangpur Riders fans, guess who is going to be the new rider by matching the information given in the picture, and share your opinion in the comments.”
The post also had an image, namely ‘Guess the rider’ attached to it, including hints such as ‘he made his ODI debut in 2015’, ‘He’s the first player to score more than 5000 runs in his first 100 ODI innings, and ‘He’s the captain of currently ranked world’s no. 1 ODI team’. All these hints led to one that is ‘Babar Azam,’ and fans were quite quick to guess it right.
In addition to Babar Azam, Rangpur Riders have secured the services of Pakistan pacer Ihsanullah and Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan, strengthening their line-up. They have also retained key players such as Nurul Hasan Sohan, Mahedi Hasan, and Hasan Mahmud.
Furthermore, the team has already signed foreign cricketers Wanindu Hasaranga and Nicolas Pooran, further enhancing their squad for the upcoming season of BPL.