Following his success in Zimbabwe’s domestic Twenty20 tournament, Durham’s Phil Mustard had hoped to feature in the South African equivalent next month. But he could be heading for an event in Bangladesh instead.
The inaugural Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) will run from February 9-29, involving six teams who will play each other twice each in Chittagong and Dhaka.
Teams will be allowed to field five foreign players and a franchise auction will take place on January 5, followed by a player auction ten days later. Jimmy Anderson is reported to have made himself available, along with Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo.
The BPL will be televised on a new sports channel in Bangladesh and the organisers are hoping that the winners will be given a place in the Champions League Twenty20 next year.
Durham coach Geoff Cook said: “A few of our players have been approached and as long as they are fit and performing well I have no problem with them going.
“It will be good for them to get away from the indoor school. We are going to Dubai for a week at the end of March, as we have done for the last two years. Then it’s pretty much straight into the season when we get back.”
With Mark Davies ready to start bowling again, Durham are working towards having their full battery of seam bowlers fit for the 2012 season.
Following six weeks of gym work Davies plans to bowl in the indoor school this week as he attempts to resurrect a career which has been badly interrupted by a series of injuries.
Steve Harmison, who has also missed much of the last two seasons, has been working on his fitness and Cook said: “We’re putting together a plan for him to get in some bowling before the season.
“He could possibly go abroad for a few weeks because he’s got a bit of catching up to do. In the last two years he has shown glimpses of form but hasn’t had a sustained run. He’s keen to go along with whatever we decide.”
Cook added that both Liam Plunkett and Ben Stokes have been “very conscientious” about their rehabilitation work. “Liam knew the groundwork needed to be done in getting back to the very basics in his action. He’s been working in the indoor school and we want to keep that going for the next six weeks before deciding where we go from there.
“Ben Stokes keeps seeing various specialists after the second operation on his hand and all the right boxes keep getting ticked. Everyone seems confident he will be ready for April.”