Dhaka Gladiators is a professional franchise cricket team playing in the Bangladesh Premier League and represents the Dhaka division, in Bangladesh. This team was run by Ian Pont, an international coach and led by Mohammad Ashraful, an icon player. The first season of this team was captained by Mashrafe Mortaza.
On 10th January, 2012, a winning bid of $1.05 million was made by Europa Group Limited for this franchise, believed to be the fourth highest bid for any franchise. The team had a mixed bag in their first season itself, and is supported by Neha Dhupia, Bollywood superstar. The home matches of this team are played at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, which is known as the national cricket stadium in Bangladesh. This stadium has a seating capacity of 30,000 spectators.
Mohammad Rafique is the bowling coach of this team, with the present captaincy being handled by Mashrafe Mortaza. Later on, the team included star players like Imran Nazir, Aftab Ahmed, Shahid Afridi, Mashrafe Mortaza, Kieron Pollard along with the likes of Saeed Ajmal, Stuart MacGill and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan. As Stuart MacGill could not play for personal reasons in this league, he got replaced with Azhar Mahmood. Shahid Afridi was the most expensive player, with $ 700,000 bidding price.
In 2008, BCP (Bangladesh Cricket Board) created the cricket tournament, Bangladesh Premier League, entirely based on the Twenty20 form of the game. The same year, in February, the inaugural tournament was held, with finalization of the list of six teams, who will be participating in this tournament. This team representing 2 different divisions of Bangladesh, which included Dhaka, were put on auction in Radisson Hotels on 19th of January. Moreover, the team was bought by Red Citi Group for 1.05 million US dollars.
The team started off their campaign in a disappointing start off, by losing against Khulna Royal Bengal, led by all rounder, Shakib Al Hasan. But, this was succeeded by 3 consecutive victories without players like Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi. During their third victory over Barisal Burners, they scored 208 runs for five wickets. This score was defended, though Chris Gayle scored a century for the Barisal Burners team. Later on in the tournament, the team failed to chase the targets due to batting collapses. In the final match, Dhaka Gladiators defeated Barisal Burners and were awarded the champions of BPL 2012.