With the series against Australia over, Bangladesh is gearing up to follow the Indian Premier League. And this time they have a huge reason to cheer for the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Over the past three years, the Knights have been high on fan following in this part of the world for Sourav Ganguly.
This time with Ganguly not around, the IPL hype in Bangladesh has been tepid till now but that could turn on its head if Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al-Hasan takes the field for the Knight Riders on Friday.
Both skipper Gautam Gambhir and bowling consultant Wasim Akram have said they were eagerly waiting for Shakib to join the squad, which would mean the left-arm spinner, who is a handy batsman, has a strong chance in the XI.
But Shakib himself was not too sure. “The Knight Riders have begun their campaign well. I am mentally and physically right there to take the field but I am not too sure of my role as yet. Once I join the squad and talk to people I will have a better idea,” Shakib told HT from Dhaka before leaving for Jaipur on Thursday morning.
Three other players from Bangladesh have featured in the IPL before Shakib - medium-pacer Mashrafe Mortaza (KKR), left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak (RCB) and batsman Mohammad Ashraful (MI). But none of them featured in the teams on a regular basis.
With Shakib tipped to play a much bigger role this time, the country of 16 crore is right behind the Knight Riders.