Welcome to Brotherhood Softball League

Week 2 Rumours

[written by: Aamir Husainy, Hamid Malik, Hassan Chaudhary, Riyad Ramjaun, Taha Iqbal, Zain Khilji, Zuhair Fancy & Hashim Ghazi]

After the masses draped in red and black took to the streets last night to celebrate the Seljuqs going 2-0 to start the season the Raptors winning the NBA Finals, we likely have a number of groggy players and supporters finding anything they can to make the day go by quicker.  What better way to kill a few minutes than to indulge in this week's rumours?  Opening week had a number of surprises, but the energy on the field from opening pitch to the final out on the day remained high as the boys of summer were back on Birchwood. 

Thank you to all those that came out to support our fundraising campaign opening weekend, and we look forward to your further support as teams begin their individual initiatives to support their charities.  This week, the Ayyubids will be selling Popeye's and raffling off four Father's Day gift baskets, all in an effort to raise funds for their charity of choice SMILE Support Services.  Please show your support! 

We also unfortunately have another transaction to report featuring the Mamluks: W K of the Mamluks has withdrawn due to injury, and the Mamluks have picked up Suleman Mann (of BSL Nights) off waivers to replace him.  We wish W K a swift recovery and welcome Suleman to the League. 

And now, it's time we give the people what they want - here is week two's instalment of the rumours. 

 

OTTOMANS (@ Sultans 2:00PM BW1 & vs Nasrids 3:30PM BW1)

The Ottomans were one of three teams that went winless opening weekend. One may look at the outcome of the games and think it may be a long season; however, if one truly looked at the performance of the Ottomans in the season opening week, there are still a lot of positive signs to observe. The team played decent, if not spectacular, defense. Rizvan Merchant manned the shortstop position rather smoothly, and also contributed immensely at the plate. However, same cannot be said for much of the other players, specifically the heart of the lineup. Don't sound the alarm yet though, as talents like Kashif Irshad and Faheem Kotwal can only be held down for so long. These are guys with proven track records and a penchant for being more than able to contribute on both ends of the game. We anticipate a solid bounce back from the squad, especially given the way newcomers Imran Choudhry, Usman Ali and most notable Abdullah Akhtar swung the bat. In an interesting week two matchup, the Turks face the reigning champ Sultans who too are looking for their first win of the season. They then match up with the Nasrids who looked like the best team out the game this past week. Both matchups bring their own challenges and could really act as a fulcrum for where the Ottomans are headed.

 

SULTANS (vs Ottomans 2:00PM BW1 & @ Seljuqs 3:30PM BW2)

Though the Sultans went winless to start the season, they have no reason to shed an ounce of concern yet. The team went up against two of the favoured teams going into the season and came away with a close loss and a tie. Also, as we are sure the Sultan brass will tell you, who really cares about the regular season?  The Stallions had an up-and-down campaign throughout the summer last year, and even faced the risk of missing the playoffs entirely but for a game-winning homerun by Omer "The" Chaudhry on Super Sunday. And things ended up just fine for them – you know, if fine means winning the championship. So do you think these guys will be worried after a winless weekend? In June? Really? Nah, the Sultans just had a bit of title-defense fatigue. The winless record will not last, but you know what probably will? Reigning MVP Shahzad Ahmed's continued assault on neon-yellow spherical objects on Sundays. Shaz came out with a 0.625/2 HR/7 RBI weekend for the white knights, and with a little more help from his championship-winning teammates, those numbers will translate into some Ws. Rookies Khuram Channa, Owais Noori and Basil Jeelany had admirable debuts to their BSL careers with a collective 0.524 AVG/11 H/3 RBI on the weekend. The Sultans have a chance to right some wrongs in the afternoon games this week, facing a pair of teams on opposite ends of the spectrum (for now) in the undefeated Seljuqs and the only-defeated Ottomans. Let's see which side of the spectrum the Sultans fall on come Sunday.

 

SELJUQS (@ Nasrids 2:00PM BW2 & vs Sultans 3:30PM BW2)

Opening weekend could not have gone much better for the men in red, white and black. Midway through game one, the Seljuqs found themselves down 9-0 against a highly touted Mamluks. That's when the bats woke up, and put seven up through some timely hitting from everyone. Shortly thereafter, the defense shifted gears and Hamza "the Kid" Waheed dialed in on the mound; in turn the Seljuqs only gave up one more run and scored a total of fifteen themselves to win 15-10. Showing that sort of character so early in the season is all team management could ask for. Game 2 was a reverse of Game 1, with the Seljuqs taking the lead early and clamping down thereafter to stifle the opposing Abbasids to four runs to come out on top 10-4. This week the team will be facing the big bats of the Nasrids and Sultans. However, the Seljuqs showed that they are a team of depth. While the power hitting of Omer Dhaduk and Umair Jabbar is well-documented, Zain Khilji showed his lean build consists largely of muscle, as his hits were going the distance to the tune of eight ribbies. Consistency from the rest of the order never gave the opposing team's defense any rest, which was further amplified by a pair of menacing bats at the bottom of the order in Hasan "Desert Storm" Afzal and Tausif "Toffee/Tausty/THE DRIP/Hurricane" Hussain putting their talents on full display. This team runs 12-deep and rides into its week two matchup brimming with self-belief – we'll see if it's a lucky start or the real deal come 5PM this Sunday. 

 

NASRIDS (vs Seljuqs 2:00PM BW2 & @ Ottomans 3:30PM BW1)

Opening Weekend of BSL Season 6 is in the books and the Nasrids are one of three teams off to a perfect start. While the Nasrids’ offense has always been their strong suit, their pitching is what started really had on point this past Sunday. Tanseer "Robocop" Khawaja was up to his old tricks and after week 1, he has the lowest WHIP amongst eligible pitchers. The Nasrids’ seems to have put together an elite defensive team as well as they did commit a single error. Their offense was led by their rookie Safwan Khan who went 5-5 and was declared one of the stars of the week. What's scary is that the superstar Spaniards did not show even a glimpse of their best form and the team still racked up a pair of convincing wins. You would expect these juggernauts to truly come alive this week, putting up numbers commensurate with their talent and record, and furthering their initial hold on the top of the standings. In week two, the Nasrids’ meet two team with very contrasting start to their season. The Seljuqs’ too are coming off a perfect start, which is not something that they’re accustomed to. On the other hand, the Ottomans have had the worst possible start to the season, losing both their opening games.

 

AYYUBIDS (@ Mamluks 5:15PM BW1 & @ Mughals 6:45PM BW1)

The Ayyubids got their season off to a strong start with wins over reigning champ Sultans and perennial contenders Ottomans on Opening Weekend. The first win showed resilience as they scored 10-runs over the final two frames for a comeback win, while the second featured a big start that carried them the rest of the way. The team did take a moment after the first win to acknowledge Neal Irfan and Zuhair Fancy who were part of the winless Abbasids squad last season – understandably both seemed overwhelmed with the sensation of winning a game. Week Two has them facing another pair of tough opponents in the Mamluks and Mughals. If they can get another strong performance defensively, where they made some mistakes but were able to recover, they will be in good shape. Both games will be on Birchwood Two so they'll have to tighten things up against some big bats they will be facing, as over the two games they will be against the top three homer run hitters in the L thus far. Aqib Khokhar did well as leadoff and Umair Sheikh did his job in the clean-up spot picking up 7 RBI. If they continue getting contribution throughout the line-up, then there is no reason to doubt them racking up another pair of wins.

 

MAMLUKS (vs Ayyubids 5:15PM BW1 & @ Abbasids 6:45PM BW2)

After a rough Opening Weekend, the Mamluks find themselves down 0-2 in the young season with a few unanswered questions. If that wasn’t bad enough, news just broke that W K will be withdrawing from the league due to injury. While wishing W K the best in his future endeavours, we welcome newcomer Suleman Mann to the Mamluks courtesy of BSL Nights. After losing two key players early in the season, it looks like the Mamluks will have to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to get back on track. Overall, the Mamluks had a below average start on the offensive end, with exception to Ahmad Ammad. As usual, Crazy did crazy things with his bat and kept the Mamluks in both of their games with a 6 for 7, 4 HR and 10 RBI Sunday. Saqib Khokhar and Arslan Shahid also had great starts to the season with some .500 hitting in the bottom of the lineup to keep the mill churning. Unfortunately, the rest of his squad cannot say the same, as the bats were a bit flat. However, the Green Machine are a confident bunch who will shake that offseason rust in no time. The cool demeanor of team's management style had a very calming effect on the squad, even under pressure. With a team first mentality, there is no way the Mamluks will stay down as there’s a lot of positivity to go around and enough opportunity for guys to step up on both ends of the field. Sleep on them at your own peril.

 

MUGHALS (@ Abbasids 5:15PM BW2 & vs Ayyubids 6:45PM BW1)

After opening weekend, the new look Mughals are one of four teams to remain undefeated; however, an intense affair that featured some controversy resulted that undefeated mark being a win and a tie as opposed to two wins. The Mughals look to be adding two more bats this week as Tamour Sheikh and Omar Khan make their Badshaah debuts. Meanwhile, the rest of the team look to be settling in, led by GM Owais Ansari who had 3 HRs himself last week. Faraaz Alvi and Ali Wadee have started the season with a bang, batting exceptionally well this past weekend, while Asad Moten and Furhan Azmat are proving doubters wrong with their exceptional play in the outfield. Riyad Ramjaun was stellar in his return to the mound in BSL, leading the league in Ks and ERA; however, this week will be a real test as he faces the top scoring team from last week in the Ayyubids. In the second game this week, the Mughals will take on the former face of the franchise, Zahid Merchant. Seeing Zahid in dark blue is still something most of the league needs to get used to and knowing Ziggy, getting that W against his former team is all he’s thinking about – it will be up to the Badshaahs to ruin his homecoming. Finally, as the majority of Birchwood heard, the Mughals are attempting a new pre-game hype chant. Some say it sounds like a bunch of dogs barking, while others think it's just loud grunting. In fact, the new team slogan is something most will remember after seeing the movie 300: take from them EVERYTHING and give them NOTHING. Regardless of what it sounds like, Papi will once again position his guys to go undefeated in Week 2.

 

ABBASIDS (vs Mughals 5:15PM BW2 & vs Mamluks 6:45PM BW2)

After two losses in their opening week, the Abbasids can't help but think if the franchise truly is cursed. However, with new management and a different squad, we will surely see a changed mentality on how they will respond in order to gain some leverage in the standings. The poor performance can be attributed to the lack of runs scored and the underwhelming batting stats of their top players. We don’t expect this continue at all and still rate the Abbasids as one of the top teams in the league. Drawing up a very balanced batting lineup last week, we are excited to see what changes management will or will not make. GM Bilal Javed has an abundance of talent to utilize in several combinations, but will need all twelve players to perform to their abilities. Of note is that the Abbasids announced that they will be cautious with veteran second baseman Atif Akhtar and had him sit out for opening day as he will be on a load management program. Look for him to sit out additional weeks as the season progresses to keep him fresh for the postseason. The team has all the right pieces to make a comeback against the Mughals and Mamluks this week. Zahid Merchant will have butterflies facing the only franchise he's ever known prior to this year, but the team knows what’s at stake if they lose focus – that should be enough for them to rue the results of last week (and last year, and the year before, and the year before that, and the…). Expect a big week from Ismail Akhter too as he is lining up against the shade of blue he's only ever worn in BSL only to feature on the a navy side this time around.

 

We're all set for week 2 to launch this coming Sunday.  See you then. 


Week 1 Rumours

[written by: Aamir Husainy, Hamid Malik, Hassan Chaudhary, Riyad Ramjaun, Taha Iqbal, Zain Khilji & Hashim Ghazi]

WE BACK. WE BACK. WE BIGGITY BIGGITY BIGGITY BACK. Season 6 of BSL is 48 hours away and we cannot WAIT to get back onto the field.  Birchwood is looking as crisp as it's ever looked, and we enter into S6 with a lot of new identities.  With five new GMs, a lot stands to see what these new-look franchises bring to the table.  Also, with so many "one-team players" taking up residence in new dynasties, it will be interesting to see whether the new surroundings better or batter their performances. 

We also have a transaction to report: A K of the Mamluks has withdrawn due to injury, and the Mamluks have picked up Arslan Shahid off waivers to replace him.  We wish A K a swift recovery and welcome Arslan back to the League. 

We will be hosting a day of fun on Opening Day that will feature food to indulge in and a number of activities for kids (including a live reptile show and free Henna - for the players asking whether they can get henna tattoos, the answer is no.  This isn't Wonderland in 1999, act your age please).  All proceeds raised from Opening Day will go to Islamic Relief - we look forward to you and your families attending! 

And now without further ado, here are the rumours for Week 1. 

 

ABBASIDS (@ Nasrids 2:00PM BW1 & vs Seljuqs 3:30PM BW2)

Enough has been said about the past of the Abbasids, but new GM Bilal Javed is not focusing on that.  Javed has assembled arguably the deepest and best team in the League, and according to this writer, stand as the favourites coming into the season.  The top five – Sameer Rafique, Ismail Akhter, Ibrahim Sardar, Zahid Merchant and Bilal himself – balances contact with power, and make up the core of their defense.  However, as every championship team will tell you, it's not your top that makes the difference, it's the bottom.  Javed hit some draft-day home runs in picks like Mohsin Zubair, Arshad Chawdhry and Mohamed Kala that will really take this team to the Promised Land.  These three play a huge role in establishing an elite defense that will hold leads and let their offense work without pressure.  The Abbasids will also lean on Sardi to man the mound like he did last year for the Nasrids, and allow former pitcher Ziggy to make an impact on other areas of the field.  The new-look Abbasids aren't focusing on the skeletons in the closet because to them, they have none.  The team is committed to looking ahead, not back, and drawing from their collective experience to propel forward and take the league by storm.  How the Lions get out of the gate will set the tone for their entire season, and they cannot wait to change the narrative surrounding the franchise starting this Sunday.

 

AYYUBIDS (@ Sultans 5:15PM BS1 & vs Ottomans 6:45PM BW1)

The new-look Ayyubids will feature some old and new this coming season.  Former GM Umer Jabbar elected to withdraw as GM of the side in an effort to focus his time to his role as a Board member, and in comes new GM Umair Sheikh.  Sheikh is no stranger to positions of leadership on the diamond, as he has played the role of manager for teams in other leagues and has always relished the opportunity to take charge when called upon in BSL.  With him comes Jibran Waqar – yes, you read that right.  White Man Can't Jibs will look a bit different in orange-and-black this year, but the man will continue to do what he does best on the diamond, which frankly is everything.  Umair had a fantastic draft, notably in nabbing arguably the best pitcher available in Ali Jabbar, and then arguably the best defensive outfielder available in Michael Arlitt.  He then went on to pick pieces that complement one another, taking some calculated risks in hopes of those bets leading to wins, most notably in nabbing second-year stud Aqib Khokhar.  Khokhar is a shortstop by trade and happens to have a bazooka for an arm.  With shortstop being held down by Waqar, Umair picked Aqib and slotted him in at third base.  Aqib has all the tools needed to be an elite 3B in the League, and this stroke of genius may be what bring the Kurds back to glory this season.  The Ayyubids feature in a tantalizing pair of matchups against the Mughals and Ottomans to open the season, and are confident in their chances to get two results on the good side of the ledger. 

 

MAMLUKS (@ Seljuqs 2:00PM BW2 & vs Nasrids 3:30PM BW1)

Coming in to 2019, the Mamluks have a brand new look as we get ready to welcome two old faces to the Mamluks management team, Hassan Chaudhry and Taher Mirza.  After another top-of-the-standings finish and trip to the finals, the Mamluks season ended in disappointment as they surrendered twelve runs in the final inning of the championship game despite being neck-and-neck with them from innings one through eight. Looking to avenge the loss will be the outfield duo – or is it shortstop-outfield duo? Pitcher-outfielder duo? Pitcher-shortstop duo? Who knows – of Hassan and Taher after former GM (and former pitcher, allegedly) Rizvan Merchant has packed his bags and headed to the Ottomans this year. Although the Mamluks fell short against the Sultans, they feel that they won't make the same mistakes again this year they drafted a strong team with a great defense to go along with it. The only knock on Mamluks that comes to mind is the uncertainty of their pitching as they are unsure of who takes the mound. Regardless of who draws the short straw, Gang Green will have plenty of help on defense as the outfield is full of quick guys with a chops to make big plays like W K, Yousaf Chaudhry, Hamid Malik, and Umair Wasim. There’s enough talent on this squad to keep opponents on their feet as Mamluks are pencilled in to finish the year in the top 3. Although that achievement won't be served to them on a silver platter, the Mamluks are confident as their preseason practices have focused on welcoming new players into the mix and building team chemistry. Captain Hassan has done a great job scheduling practices and working one-on-one with a lot of his teammates during the month of Ramadan in order to get ready for the upcoming season.  As long as they don’t get in their own heads, the Mamluks are looking to return with a vengeance and will not be satisfied with anything short of a championship.

 

MUGHALS (@ Ottomans 5:15PM BW2 & vs Sultans 6:45PM BW2)

The Mughals enter the 2019 BSL Season drastically different from past Mughals teams.  Specifically, the Mughals will, for the first time in their illustrious history, boast a new GM and in turn a new pitcher going into the season.  Rookie GM Owais “Big Papi” Ansari will look to cement himself in Mughals history by taking the franchise to the promise land in his inaugural season.  Big Papi in the middle of the lineup would make most pitchers quiver, but using early draft picks on big time hitters in playoff MVP Shaheen Limbada, Faraaz Alvi and Tamour Sheikh further add to the identity of the side as a power-laden offence.  The rest of the roster is rounded up by BSL veterans who know what it takes to win a championship and who bring the right attitude to each game.  The final piece of the puzzle this year will be the new Mughals pitcher, Riyad Ramjaun.  Riyad previously pitched in seasons 1 and 2 of BSL but has since not taken the mound.  Being a former Mughal himself, Riyad will look to channel his inner zigginess and hope he learned enough from Zahid Merchant to continue the Mughals winning ways.  On paper, the 2019 Mughals look to be possibly the greatest Mughals team ever assembled, but paper means nothing once the season starts and it’ll be up to the players to prove that the Badshaahs will rise once again.

 

NASRIDS (vs Abbasids 2:00PM BW1 & @ Mamluks 3:30PM BW1)

The Nasrids must be happy with all the events leading up to the long-awaited opening week of BSL 6. The roster is looking like one of the best (if not the best) in franchise history and are already positioned in eyes of many as the team to beat. Their first success was being able to sign GM ‘Sir’ Nirvaan Latif to another short-term contract extension and bringing the likes of perennial MVP candidate Osman Buttar along with him. Asad Syed then slotted perfectly into their first pick to round off the core. The Nasrids, however, will miss out on the talents of their 4-year star shortstop Usama Mahmood, who will not feature in BSL this season. The team has high hopes on rookie Safwan Khan to replace the Usama-sized hole at shortstop, who turned a lot of heads with his play in the position at BSL nights. To round off the noticeable Nasrids names is former Nasrids GM Kashif Waheed, who is most excited about getting to rock the grey jerseys after suffering in sand in years past. Among the "good" the Nasrids are taking into the season is the term "practice." Nirvaan has openly emphasized practice in their pre-season routine and rumour has it that Asad tried to implement a mandatory ‘100 hits a day’ until their first game…we wish him the best with that.  Sir Nirvaan also negotiated a trade that strengthens their outfield in acquiring Aazar Zafar. The team seems to have all the pieces, including a veteran pitcher in Tanseer Khawaja, to take them back to the finals they were so-close to winning a few years back. However, translating all that into wins is going to be the true test for the Spaniards.

 

OTTOMANS (vs Mughals 5:15PM BW2 & @ Ayyubids 6:45PM BW1)

The perennial juggernaut Ottomans return to Birchwood Park this year with an entirely new outlook. New GM Taha Iqbal and Imran Merchant have been teammates for most of their years in BSL, and are handed over the reins to continue the storied legacy of the Turks after Taha set the League ablaze for the squad last season. The Ottomans continued with their "new identity" approach in drafting former Mamluks GM Rizvan Merchant with their first round pick, and followed up with rookie-of-the-year candidate Abdullah Akhtar in round two.  This core locks up the left side of the field and demonstrates five-tool capabilities in spots one through four of the lineup.  The Turks peppered in some veterans and former teammates with the remaining picks of the draft, but had two questions facing them at the end of draft – who plays short and who pitches?  They addressed the latter with a draft day deal acquiring Zia Beg, who, in his rookie campaign, manned the mound for the Royals during the franchise's best regular season in history, but the who plays short remains to be seen. It is only appropriate that these new look Ottomans face the two franchises they have storied pasts with in the Mughals and Ayyubids.  The Mughals feature a number of core players from Ottomans teams of past, and this current Ottomans core has some ties to the Ayyubids – most notably Imran who is psyched at facing his former teammates and getting one up on them to start the year.

 

SELJUQS (vs Mamluks 2:00PM BW2 & @ Abbasids 3:30PM BW2)

Thanks to the informative GM podcast, we now know the Seljuqs name is pronounced Sell-Jooks, thanks to a little digging by team historian Zaid Ghansar and GM Umair Jabbar. What remains unknown is why the team's internal expectations do not match with external expectations. The Seljuqs were rarely mentioned by opposing GMs in their podcasts, if barely at all. However, the men that line up wearing the red, white and black that dreams are made of, know what they have in their locker, and in true Seljuq fashion, the team's unity, guided by their GM's voice which can be heard from Milton to Multan, remains unrivaled. These Seljuqs have certain similarities to the squad that so nearly ousted last-year's champions on the final weekend of the regular season. Namely, in addition to Umair, they bring back Omer Dhadhuk, Zain Khilji and the aforemented Ghansar, who offer immediate impact on both sides of the field. Hamza Waheed also returns from his sojourn in western Canada with a pitching game that is in full ascent. The new Seljuqs players add to the team's arsenal, with all-star and league darling Kamil Haider serving as shortstop. The icy-cool shortstop will be accompanied by Umer Jabber and Akif Waheed to fortify the team's infield. The outfield will be bolstered by a combination of Hassan Chaudhary (formerly of the champion Sultans), Hashim Ghazi (read: Hash), Tausif Hussain (rookie alert and dare we say sleeper pick?) and Hassan Afzal (read: Desert).  The mix of old and new will produce a product that surely will not be forgotten by GMs in future weeks. 

 

SULTANS (vs Ayyubids 5:15PM BW1 & @ Mughals 6:45PM BW2)

And here we are again. The grass has been freshly cut, the smell of hotdogs and burgers fills the early summer air, and the boys of Brotherhood Softball are back. And with that new beginning comes the commencement of the Sultans title defense in a year that features some new interesting changes. The Stallions continue to boast a strong core of GM Shamil Khadaroo, MVP Shahzad Ahmed and former OPOY Omer Chaudhry, but have lost some key pieces in last year's playoff MVP Shaheen Limbada (who was selected first overall) and elite shortstop Kamil Haider (who went eighth overall). How these changes will affect them will be interesting to monitor, but what will be even more interesting is what newcomers Owais Noori, Shawn Narine, and Basil Jeelany will bring to the League. Despite not a lot being known of these gentlemen prior to the draft, they preseason chatter has been on another level – basically, all three have been touted as rookie-of-the-year favourites by different people.  Shawn is a former MVP and can hang with the best of them.  Owais is a lethal bat.  Basil is the best pitcher-hitter combo in BSL.  A lot of praise in the direction of these guys will no doubt lead to some pressure as we await to see quotes stand as fact or folklore as the season progresses. The new look defending champs will be opening their season in the night portion of Sunday. They will be squaring off against the Ayyubids and Mughals, and there will be plenty of storylines to follow, including a matchup against their playoff MVP himself. Many questions loom: will the Sultans be able to overcome any potential falooda hangovers from last year? Will their matchup with the Mughals be a fairy tale like reunion? Will the established parity in the League pose a challenge for our reigning champs? Though no team has repeated as champs in the past, the Sultans are committed to changing that in 2019.

First pitch is set for 2PM on Sunday - season six couldn't come soon enough. 


Preseason Update #4

[written by Zahid Merchant]

Only two weeks till the season kicks off on June 9th. Ramadan is down to the final week and we are excited to announce our charity initiatives for the season. 

 

1. BSL Ramadan Campaign - DONATE NOW. We are excited to announce our 2019 Ramadan Crowdfunding campaign. We are asking our players along with their family and friends to donate through our campaign to help single mothers in the GTA with their Zakat. We have set a goal of $40K through National Zakat Foundation to help over 200 single mother families. Visit www.nzfcanada.com/bsl to contribute and view our launch video. 

 

2. Team Charities. Every team has selected their team charity that they will be playing for this season. All proceeds from the league are donated to each charity and all teams will have a fundraising day for their charity at the softball field. Here are each of the charities for this season: 

Abbasids: Muslim Welfare Centre

Ayyubids:  Smile Canada

Mamluks: Fasting 5K

Mughals: Naseeha

Nasrids: Hope Foundation 

OttomansHospital for Sick Children 

Seljuqs: Islamic Relief

Sultans: Human Concern Intl

 

3. Podcast Series continues. The next release of the podcast series has been released featuring the Nasrids and Seljuqs. Our final GM installment will launch this Tuesday.  


Preseason Update #3

[written by Zahid Merchant]

We hope everyone's Ramadan is going well. Here are a few more updates and news to share for the upcoming season. 

 

1. BSL Ramadan Campaign will be launching later this week. We encourage everyone and their families to donate their zakat locally through our campaign this year. Collectively, we can make a monumental difference in our community. Stay tuned for our upcoming video and campaign website.  

 

2. BSL has launched our podcast series. Download Podbean to listen and comment on the podcasts. We have also added a widget on our website. Our first two GM podcasts have been released. The remaining two will be released each Thursday. We will be looking for guest hosts throughout the season so let us know if you are interested in contributing. 

 

3. August Schedule: 

Super Sunday was a success last season and we have extended that to two weeks this year with the additional week added this season.

Here is the schedule for August: 

August 4th - Mid-season tournament
August 11th - NO GAMES (Eid-ul-Adha)
August 18th & 25th - Super Sundays

Two brackets: 

Seed #1, #4, #5, #8

Seed #2, #3, #6, #7

Each team will play their division over two Sundays as the final regular season games.

 

4. 2018 BSL Committees

The committees for this season were selected based on responses in the registration survey. If you still like to volunteer, please contact us and we will find you a committee to join. We could use your skills. We are looking for additional help with graphic design if anyone has experience. 

Rumours: Hashim Ghazi (Chair), Aamir Husainy, Hamid Malik, Hassan Chaudhary, Mohamed Kala, Ibrahim Sardar, Riyad Ramjaun, Saad G, Taha Iqbal, Zain Khilji, Zuhair Fancy. 

Operations: Zahid Merchant (Chair), Imran Merchant, Jibran Waqar, Taha Iqbal, 

Discipline and Competition: Ahmad Hussain (Chair), Hammad Afif, Ibrahim Sardar, Shaheen Limbada

Charity: Shamil Khadaroo (Chair), Asad Moten, Faheem Kotwal, Hassan Zubair, Jav Ahmed, Michael Arlitt, Nirvaan Latif, Omer Chaudhry, Omer Dhaduk, Saoud Ramjaun

Marketing: Umer Jabbar (Chair), Osman Buttar, Yasser Zia, Zahid Merchant

Social Media: Hashim Ghazi (Chair), Furhan Azmat, Owais Ansari, Tausif Hussain, Umair Jabbar, Zain Malik, Zahid Merchant

Gameday volunteers: Zain Khilji (Chair), Kashif Waheed (Co-chair), Aamir Husainy, Abdullah Akhtar, Aftab Sheikh, Ahmed Butt, Akif Waheed, Aqib Khokhar, Asad Syed, Asim Waheed, Basil Jeelany, Faheem Kotwal, Faraaz Alvi, Fuzail Thakur, Hamza Waheed, Hasan Afzal, Hashim Ghazi, Hassan Chaudhry, Ibrahim Sardar, Imran Merchant, Imran Qureshi, Jibran Waqar, Khizer Channa, Khuram Channa, Mohamed Kala, M. Salman Ahmed, Nirvaan Latif, Owais Noori, Safwan Khan, Sameer Rafique, Saqib Khokhar, Shamil Khadaroo, Shawn Narine, Tamour Sheikh, Tanseer Khawaja, Umair Jabbar, Umair Wasim, Umair Sheikh, Umer Jabbar, Yousaf Chaudhry, Zahid Merchant, Zaid Ghansar, Zain Malik, Zayd Ramjaun 


Preseason Update #2

[written by Zahid Merchant]

With less than a month left till 2019 Opening day, we are finalizing some of the details on the season. Here are a couple reminders of the standards in our league and some changes that you should be aware of. 

 

1. BSL Rules have been updated on our website.

There are a couple slight rule modifications that you should be aware of from previous seasons. We are attempting to make the games longer and quicker game play. If these changes don't work, we may revisit them midseason. Changes have been highlighted in bold @ http://www.brotherhoodsoftball.com/?p=rules

- No new inning shall start after one hour and twenty minutes (previously one hour fifteen minutes)

- If time is running short, the umpire will announce time left before cut off. If the visiting team is trailing and allows the home team to bat and time runs out during their at-bats, those runs and at bats will count towards stats and run differential.

- If a game runs for one hour and thirty minutes based on the umpires clock/judgement, the game will be considered complete and the last completed inning will be considered the final score.

- Pitchers must make an attempt to pitch to all batters.  For clarity, a pitcher may not throw a pitch that is blatantly unhittable because the pitch is a considerable distance away from the home plate mat. Any unusual pitches deemed by the umpire to be suspicious will result in a warning. A second warning will result in an ejection of the pitcher and the pitcher may be subject to additional penalties by the Board of Directors, including suspension or fine. 

- Anticipation is acceptable but lead-off is forbidden. Runner(s) may leave a base only when the ball makes contact with the bat, plate or ground.  Any player that leaves a base before the ball makes contact will be called out by the umpire.

 

2. Criteria for Brotherhood Award: 

The Brotherhood award is the most prestigious award in our league.  It is an award that recognizes a player who has upheld an exemplary code of conduct based on Islamic principles and has shown selfless dedication in working towards the betterment of Brotherhood Softball League. 

The winner of the award will have the following year’s league fees paid for them. The Board, GMs and Discipline committee will involved in the voting process. 

 
The following is the criteria used to determine the candidates:  

A.     This person has upheld Islamic etiquette during and after games as well as other league activities.  

B.     This person has demonstrated respect for teammates, opponents and league officials regardless of the game’s outcome.

C.     This person has been known to have always maintained a positive attitude even when mistakes or errors were committed on the field.  

D.     This person has been an active participant in the league by volunteering assistance throughout the season.

 

3. Scorekeeping ground rules: 

The competition committee has come up with a critieria to clarify the decision-making for errors and hits. This should create more consistency in scorekeeping and more clarity. 

If a ball is mishandled on a routine play as judged by the scorer, an error will be charged.   Another player may not influence the decision of the scorekeeper.  If the scorekeeper is unsure of a call between an error or hit, a hit will be awarded. 

An error WILL BE charged under following conditions:
1-  If a ground ball or a soft line drive is directly hit to the infielder and is misplayed by the fielder.  The fielder has planted both feet when the ball arrives or has taken fewer than 3 steps towards the ball.  

2-  If a ground ball or a soft line drive is handled properly but then thrown away from first base (or other bases) or dropped by the fielder receiving the throw. 

3- If an outfielder mishandles a ground ball and/or it passes under his glove allowing the runner to take another base - runner will only be awarded a single.  Similarly, if a runner takes an extra base on a bad throw, a double or triple will not be awarded.   

4- If a routine fly ball is mishandled or dropped by the fielder. The fielder must have had both feet planted at the time of catch, or takes fewer than 5 steps towards the ball.

An error will NOT be charged in the following circumstances:

5- If a fielder has to make a sudden movement towards the ball, even if ball hits a part of the glove or player.

6- If a ball is hit exceptionally hard directly towards an infielder and the ball is misplayed.  

7- If a throw is made but runner beats out the throw then an error will not be charged

8- If an outfielder drops a ball while making contact with the fence.  

9- As previously mentioned, if a fielder has to take more than 5 steps to catch a pop fly and both feet are not firmly planted. 
 

We will be providing more preseason updates in the coming weeks. Stay tuned. 


Preseason Update #1

[written by Zahid Merchant]

Welcome to the 2019 BSL Season. The planning for the season is well underway and we wanted to share with you some of the finalized details. 

1. We have 5 new GMs this season with all of the inaugural GMs stepping down. We thank
Ahmad Hussain, Umer Jabbar, Rizvan Merchant, Zahid Merchant and Hashim Ghazi for their contributions as GMs. We welcome new GMs Bilal Javed, Hassan Chaudhry, Owais Ansari, Taha IqbalUmair Sheikh and look forward to their contributions. 

2. The BSL Draft will be held on Wednesday April 3rd at ISNA Masjid starting at 8:30pm

3. With Ramadan starting on May 5 and ending on June 4, we have the ability to add a couple more games to the season.

Here is the tenative schedule for the 2019 season: 
BSL Draft: April 3rd
Preseason: May 5th 
Week 1: June 9th , 2 to 8pm
Week 2: June 16th, 2 to 8pm
Week 3: June 23rd, 2 to 8pm
Off week: June 30th,  (Canada Day)
Week 4: July 7th, 2 to 8pm
Week 5: July 14th, 2 to 8pm
Week 6: July 21st, 2 to 8pm
Week 7: July 28th, 2 to 8pm 
Mid-season tourney: Aug 4th, 9am to 5pm (Exhibition)
Off week: Aug 11th,  (Eid-ul-Adha)
Week 8: Aug 18th, 2 to 8pm
Week 9: Aug 25th, 2 to 8pm 
Off week: Sept 1st (Labour day)
Playoffs: Sept 7th, 2 to 10pm  (Saturday Semi-Finals)
Playoffs: Sept 8th, 3:30 to 8pm  (Finals)

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for new announcements. 


Introducing Your 2019 BSL Rosters

[written by Hashim Ghazi]

Last week, we had our sixth annual draft where over 40 players came out to watch the drama unfold.  The reigning champion Sultans saw three of their players from last year go in the first nine picks, with playoff MVP Shaheen Limbada being taken first overall by the Mughals.  The night featured many surprises, and even a couple of trades.  Here are your 2019 BSL rosters.

2019 BSL Rosters

BSL Season 6 will lead off with a slate of exhibition games on May 5.  The first pitch of the regular season will be thrown on Sunday, June 9.  Good luck to all the teams and let's play ball! 


2019 BSL Draft Primer

[written by Rumours Committee]

The 2019 Season is officially gets underway this Wednesday with the Draft at ISNA. All players are invited to attend the draft party. There are plenty of rumours swirling on team's picks. There are no guarantees this year with a new crop of GMs that will have no hesitation to break up alliances. We conducted the Assistant GM draft this week which gives each GM a top tier player and a co-captain. In this installment, look at each teams strategy going into the first round and their predicted picks. These are all just predictions and based on the committee's viewpoints. 

Trade completed: Mughals trade Imran Merchant, #17, #33 to Ottomans for Rehan Ahmad, #22, #38

 

1. MUGHALS                 

GM: Owais Ansari 

AGM: Rehan Ahmad

The Mughals landed the last pick in the AGM round which netted them the top prize of the first overall pick. With their last AGM pick, they snapped up Imran Merchant and found a trade partner in the Ottomans to land Rehan Ahmad. Owais Ansari had to sacrifice some crucial picks in the middle rounds of the draft and it remains to be seen how valuable those picks are. The young GM and SS now pairs himself up with a former teammate and one of the best players in the league. Ansari also holds the first pick and can go a number of different ways. You have the HR champ from last year, playoff MVP, and a lifetime Mughal. We think Ismail Akhter is the right pick here to round out their outfield and give them another power bat in their lineup. Owais can do no wrong between any of those three but the low risk pick is Ismail coming back to the Badshahs. 

Predicted First Round Pick: Ismail Akhter

 

2. ABBASIDS                   

GM: Bilal Javed

AGM: Sameer Rafique

The Abbasids planned on doing this differently but they are starting with the same dynamic duo of last year. Bilal Javed opted to use his AGM pick to snap up former #1 pick Sameer Rafique. Bilal and Sameer played together last year, and now partner up with hopes of changing the fortunes of their old team. The Abbasids have lacked the passion and desire to be a top team, and they will be looking to squash that with this pick. Everyone expects Bilal to take his friend Ahmad 'Crazy' Ammad with this pick. Everyone thought Crazy was going to be his AGM pick but Bilal surprised everyone by going for Sameer. Crazy falls to him in the first round and it's hard to see him pass up on Crazy at #2. That will give the Abbasids three infielders and will be forced to pick outfield the rest of the way. Ahmad Ammad will give them the fire and passion they need but also a power bat to strike fear in pitchers everywhere.  

Predicted First Round Pick: Ahmad Ammad

 

3. SULTANS                          

GM: Shamil Khadaroo 

AGM: Shahzad Ahmed

The defending champs come back this season looking to repeat with the same squad. A core of Shaheen Limbada, Omer Chaudhry, and Kamil Haider carried the Sultans to the championship. However, the Sultans have probably realized that two of those guys will likely be picked in the first round this year after their stellar performances last year, which makes bringing back the band almost impossible. The Sultans start off with a power tandem of Shamil and Shahzad who both dig the long ball and should give their team atleast 20 plus dingers. They won with the long ball last year so expect them to load up even more. The more pressing need is to fill two holes, SS and CF. Shaz is one of the best at 3B and Shamil is a good LF. They need leaders to command the infield and outfield for them and they will be hoping to get someone that can do that while carrying a heavy bat. The man for the job is former Playoff MVP Shaheen Limbada. If Shaheen is on the board, there is no chance the Sultans pass on him at #3. 

Predicted First Round Pick: Shaheen Limbada

 

4. NASRIDS                        

GM: Nirvaan Latif 

AGM: Osman Buttar

Remember when the Nasrids were bottom dwellers? Over the last two years, no team has been closer to a title. After losing in the finals by 1 run in 2017, to losing in extra innings in the semi-finals in 2018, the Nasrids are knocking on the door of a championship and are hoping this year is the year. They have a solid tandem in Nirvaan and Osman leading the team and are hoping to find that missing piece to get them over the hump. With Nirvy and Buttar, they have an IF-OF tandem so they will be looking for the biggest bat that can help Buttar. Last year they selected Asad Syed in the second round and the rookie had a season to remember. The former AAA ball player has only played softball for one season and finished the season with 6 HRs in 3 playoffs games to double his HR total for the season. He also carries a solid glove to shore up the outfield. The Nasrids might surprise everyone by going with someone else but the upside of Asad is hard to ignore and he is the best pick available for their needs. 

Predicted First Round Pick: Asad Syed

 

5. MAMLUKS                          

GM: Hassan Chaudhry

AGM: Taher Mirza

The Mamluks have been trusted in the custody of Hassan Chaudhry and he wasted no time in bringing back Taher Mirza as his AGM. Taher is a top 10 player every year and has four consecutive gold gloves. The two childhood friends sit in the middle of the draft which is where Hassan wanted to be all along. With two stellar outfielders, it is expected that Hassan or Taher will opt to play shortstop this season to give them more flexibility in the draft. There is a shortage of SS this year and both have plenty of experience at short. With their first pick, we expect the Mamluks will keep it in the family and draft Omer Chaudhry. The Mamluks will be the beneficiaries of getting whatever power bat falls to them and it is expected Omer will be available at #5. Omer is a solid outfielder and brings his Axe bat with him to give the Mamluks the 'umph' they need.  

Predicted First Round Pick: Omer Chaudhry

 

6. OTTOMANS                         

GM: Taha Iqbal

AGM: Imran Merchant

The storied franchise moves on to another chapter but with a new General in town. Taha Iqbal takes over the Ottomans and made a bold trade to begin his tenure. Taha welcomes his brother-in-law Imran Merchant to police the outfield for him which gives them two gold-glove fielders. The Ottomans will have to make a big splash and take some chances with the picks they acquired in the trade to round out their team. With their first pick, they should prioritize defence first and look to snap up a shortstop to solidify their infield. Kamil Haider had a breakout season last year and proved he is one of the elite SS in our league. His bat has always been steady and he as cool as a cucumber. The Ottomans can go in many directions with this pick. The Ottomans pulled a shocker last draft so all bets are off on the #6 pick. 

Predicted First Round Pick: Kamil Haider

 

7. AYYUBIDS                    

GM: Umair Sheikh

AGM: Jibran Waqar

The new look Ayyubids are going after a different style of play. Umair Sheikh starts off his GM career with a top prize of Jibran Waqar. A top 3 player every season, Jibran will hold down SS for the Ayyubids while Umair will probably continue his role in LF like last year. That gives the Ayyubids an infielder and an outfielder which give them the option of taking any player they want at this pick. They have lots of options at this pick and no sure fire player that they must take. They can go many different ways but we think they will pick Rizvan Merchant as their utility guy. Riz is a top 15 bat in the league and has shown he has the ability to play anywhere in the field. A former 3B in year 1, Riz has made it clear he prefers not to pitch this year and he really means it this time. Riz gives them the flexibility to move him to the OF, IF, or pitch as a backup. The Ayyubids could be thinking completely differently but hard to see them let Riz fall to the Seljuqs on the swing, especially given the success this trio has had in the past. This is probably the most interesting pick of the first round.  

Predicted First Round Pick: Rizvan Merchant

 

8. SELJUQS                         

GM: Umair Jabbar

AGM: Omer Dhaduk

The Seljuqs look to rebound after a difficult season in 2018. The young dynamic duo of Umair Jabbar and Omer Dhaduk had fantastic seasons last year but were unable to get their team over the hump. The team lacked consistency and poise to pull out close games. The GM duo have learnt from  2018 and hope to rectify those mistakes. The Seljuqs have the last pick in the first round and first pick in the second round. The negative is they miss out on a top 7 player but the advantage is having back to back picks and getting two top talents to fill any holes. The Seljuqs are set at SS with Dhaduk and in CF with Umair, that gives them the luxury to snap up a pitcher and the best position player available. The best pitcher available in this year's draft happens to be a Jabbar, Ali Jabbar. Many forget Ali bhai is a former champion with a career 0.500 average and 16 HRs. Most importantly for the Seljuqs, he will provide the calming influence and poise to help these young guns reach their potential. This pick makes the most sense for the Seljuqs and expect them to take the best player available with their next pick to fill in their roster. 

Predicted First Round Pick: Ali Jabbar

 

The draft gets under way at 8:30pm on Wednesday. See you then. 


2018 BSL Awards

[written by Zahid Merchant]

Congratulations to our 2018 BSL Award winners! Check out their profile page to see their awards.

Rookie of the Year:  Owais Ansari - Mughals

Most Improved Player: Jibran Khan - Ayyubids, Zia Ali - Ottomans

Mid-Season Tournament MVP:  Kashif Irshad - Abbasids

Gold Glove Award:   C - Taqi Ahmed,    1B - Imran Qureshi,     2B - Zain Malik,    3B - Shahzad Ahmed,    SS - Jibran Waqar,   P - Zahid Merchant,  OF - Taher Mirza,  OF - Imran Merchant,  OF - Osman Buttar,  OF - Rehan Ahmad

Batting Title: Shahzad Ahmed - Sultans

All-star Game MVP: Ibrahim Sardar - Nasrids

Strike Out Champion: Tanseer Khawaja - Sultans

Homerun Title: Ahmad Ammad - Ayyubids

Best Pitcher Award: Rizvan Merchant - Mamluks

Best Offensive Player: Shahzad Ahmed - Sultans

Regular Season MVP: Shahzad Ahmed - Sultans

Playoff MVP: Shaheen Limbada - Sultans

Contribution Award: Hamza Waheed - Seljuqs, Zain Malik - Sultans

Brotherhood Award:  Aamir Husainy - Mamluks

Congratulations everyone on a fantastic 2018 season. 

 


Congratulations to the 2018 BSL Champions - Sultans

Congratulations to the 2018 BSL Champion Sultans who beat the Mamluks 29-18 in a slugfest

The Mamluks were down 1 in the bottom of the 8th when Jibran Waqar and W K hit back to back HRs to give the Mamluks the lead. The Sultans were down to their final 2 outs before Shahzad Ahmed, Omer Chaudhry and Shaheen Limbada went back to back to back, giving the Sultans a 2 run lead. They didn't stop there as they put up 12 runs that inning to put the game to bed. The Mamluks came 2 outs away from the championship before the Stallions woke up and claimed their first title.