One of the most noticeable aspects of the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League is perhaps the lack of intensity in the 12 matches so far. Apart from the game between Sylhet Sixers and Comilla Victorians during the Sylhet leg when the home side sealed a nerve-wracking four-wicket win with one ball remaining, the games have not really been very competitive.
That will be one of the things to watch out for when the BPL resumes today after a day's break with Shakib Al Hasan's star-studded Dhaka Dynamites taking on Mahmudullah Riyad's Khulna Titans in the first game of the day, followed by a Comilla Victorians-Chittagong Vikings clash in the second match.
Most of the games were one-sided and it was reflected in the fact that not many spectators turned up for the matches in Dhaka. When it comes to exciting cricket the fare on offer in this edition has so far fallen far short of the mark.
On the other hand, this season's BPL probably has the highest number of quality foreign players taking part after the decision to play five foreign players in the playing eleven. The likes of Kumar Sangakkra, Shahid Afridi, Ravi Bopara, Jos Butler, Dwayne Bravo, James Franklin have a firm presence in the league but the lack of contributions from local batsmen has contributed to the dulling of the contests so far.
In the last season, three of the top five run-scorers were Bangladeshi. This time however, none of the Bangladeshi players are in the top five run-getters' list so far. Mominul Haque's half-century during the game between Rajshahi Kings and Rangpur Riders on Saturday was the first fifty struck by a local player after eight games in the tournament.
The question, therefore, is whether the local players are not getting enough opportunities to display their talents because of the five-foreigner rule or are they just not pulling their weight. It seems to be a case of the latter as in most games the Bangladeshi players who did get chances were unable to cash in.
As examples, Chittagong Vikings' opener Soumya Sarkar has so far scored 45 runs in three games and Sabbir Rahman has scored 22 from five games for Sylhet Sixers batting at number three. Liton Das has 67 runs from three matches and the Comilla opener had the platform to finish the game after a blistering start, chasing a total as low as 116 against Rajshahi Kings on Sunday, but instead threw his wicket away by playing a rather rash shot for 23.
However, his partner Imrul Kayes did exactly the opposite and went on to finish the game, remaining unbeaten on 44 off 41 balls alongside English batsman Jos Buttler which will definitely give him some confidence in the coming games.
The situation is different when it comes to the bowlers. Khulna Titans fast bowler Abu Jayed picked four wickets in the previous game against Chittagong Vikings on Sunday, which took him to the highest wicket-takers table alongside English pacer Liam Plunkett with six scalps in three games.
Taskin Ahmed also has six wickets in the same number of matches but the fast bowler has been very expensive and is yet to showcase anything extraordinary. Apart from these two, there has not been any spells from local bowlers that have caught the eye, be it in their first spells or in the death overs, which is something the locals will definitely want to correct on such a platform.
The fifth edition of the BPL is still in its first quarter and there are a lot of matches to be played, the locals will have to step up their game not only to further their own credentials but also to make the tournament an exciting one.