A day ahead of the start of the 2019-20 edition of the Bangladesh Premier League, West Indies allrounder Andre Russell revealed why he preferred this T20 tournament over the Big Bash League in Australia.
“The tournament [BPL] is more fun and it is shorter and so less time away from home,” Russell told reporters when he was asked why he picked BPL. “I get a lot of love here. The hospitality and everything is amazing. You get a warm welcome on this side of the world. I never really think twice. Once I heard this was happening, new rules, new teams, new owners and new franchise. I was interested to be part of it. I wanted to get the ball rolling,” he said.
Russell, who has been appointed captain of the Rajshahi Royals, has previous success in this tournament – winning the title with Comilla Victorians and Dhaka Dynamites. He brings leadership experience from his time at the Jamaica Tallawahs, and hopes to be ‘up for the challenge’.
“I am honoured to be given the responsibility of leading the team. Regardless, I always look at myself as a player in the heat. I have a very big role in any team I play for. It is going to be something new for me outside the Caribbean. I have led Jamaica Tallawahs before. It will be interesting and I am up for a challenge,” he said.
Russell talked up his squad that boasts of players like Shoaib Malik, Ravi Bopara and Hazratullah Zazai among others, and their chances of going far in the tournament.
“I won’t say we have the best squad but we have a good team on paper. It is a good start for any captain, coach and any team. We want to use the experience of each player, which will put us in the right foot. We have a few good local talents. I have been watching videos, seeing what they can do. We have a balanced squad including local and international fast bowlers. We have good options,” he said.
Rajshahi Royals will open the campaign against Dhaka Platoon on December 12.