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Introducing the 2019 GMs: Owais Ansari (Mughals) & Shamil Khadaroo (Sultans)

Written by: Zahid Merchant and Hashim Ghazi
 
Last but not least, our final new GM taking over the Mughals is Owais Ansari. Owais had a fantastic rookie campaign and quickly built a rapport with most of the league. Not shy or bashful, Owais is full of confidence which should make up for any inexperience. He takes over the most successful franchise so he will have some big shoes to fill. His counterpart, Shamil Khadaroo is returning to defend his crown. Sham led the Sultans to the ultimate prize last season and already has a gameplan to repeat. No team has ever repeated in BSL and the added parity between the GMs should make it all that much more difficult.   
 
Owais Ansari                    
 
Career Numbers: 15 games, 28 hits, 5 doubles, 9 homeruns, 31 RBIs, 0.491 Avg 
Accolades: All-star, Rookie of the year
 
  1. Past teams: Ottomans, Mughals
  2. Nicknames: Papi, The Great One, Speedy Sanchez
  3. In your opinion, what was your best season in the Leage?: 2018 - 0.500 AVG, 1.580 OPS, 28 H, 5 2B, 9 HR, 31 RBI
  4. What is the quality you think is most important in a GM?:  Communication
  5. Which is the most important in your teams style of play - pitcher, third base, shortstop or centre field?: Shortstop, because at the end of the day, it's a hitter's game.  Some pitchers are more consistent adn tougher than others, but the ball is big and any pitcher can be hit.  Shortstop is the main position in terms of where the ball gets hit.  A lot of guys are pull, so it's either going to short or third, and if it passes the infield the shortstop is the primary cut-off.  They are also integral for double plays which can change the outlook of an entire inning
  6. What is the one quality you look for first and foremost in a teammate in BSL?: Character no doubt, which means the want to win, improve and perform every week with swag and love
  7. Who is the most favourite teammate you have played with in BSL?: I have many and cannot choose on in particular, but to name a few: Taha Iqbal, Zahid Merchant, Furhan Azmat, Imran Qureshi and Zia Ali
  8. Who is the most underrated teammate you have played with in BSL?: Mohsin Zubair
  9. Any pre-game or in-game superstitions?: Pregame, I need to run around the field alone, stretch and begin a toss around, start a cheer and them jump like Ronaldo after running down the third base line.  During games, I like to hit my glove three times, and turn around after every pitch.  I talk a lot too
  10. What is your post game go-to meal?:  Win x 2 baby (whatever is made at home)
  11. What is your softball bat of choice?:  Miken 28 oz end-loaded
  12. What is the one rule change you would make to the League - move the bases an extra five feet apart; move the pitching mind an extra 10 feet back; find a new field that has a home run fence that is 25 feet further out all around; or have a maximum of three outfield?:  Find a new field that has a home run fence that is 25 feet further out all around
  13. Finish this sentence: When my team wins the championship, my team will celebrate by...let's find out after we win insha'Allah ;) 

Shamil Khadaroo                           

Career Numbers: 38 games, 60 hits, 12 doubles, 13 homeruns, 58 RBIs 0.504 Avg 
Accolades: All-star, Championship
 
  1. Past teams: Sultans
  2. Nicknames: Sham, Sham slam, Shampion
  3. In your opinion, what was your best season in the Leage?: 2018 (8 GP) - 0.640 AVG, 1.627 OPS, 16 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 2 BB
  4. What is the quality you think is most important in a GM?:  Flexibility, in that the GM has the ability to adjust to the ups-and-downs during the season, and being open to suggestions during discussions with the leaders of the team
  5. Which is the most important in your teams style of play - pitcher, third base, shortstop or centre field?: Shortstop, because the majority of balls are hit there
  6. What is the one quality you look for first and foremost in a teammate in BSL?: Positive attitude and strong work ethic
  7. Who is the most favourite teammate you have played with in BSL?: Shahzad Ahmed because he is all about the team even though he himself is a great talent and deserves all the recognition he garners
  8. Who is the most underrated teammate you have played with in BSL?: Faisal Khan because he is a true glue guy that goes to the unsung heroes and motivates and encourages them.  He also holds people in check to make sure the everyone is all about the team's success
  9. Any pre-game or in-game superstitions?: Dua asking Allah (swt) to help me perform well
  10. What is your post game go-to meal?:  Whatever my wife makes
  11. What is your softball bat of choice?:  Anything Miken half-ounce end loaded
  12. What is the one rule change you would make to the League - move the bases an extra five feet apart; move the pitching mind an extra 10 feet back; find a new field that has a home run fence that is 25 feet further out all around; or have a maximum of three outfield?:  Make the bases an extra five feet apart
  13. Finish this sentence: When my team wins the championship, my team will celebrate by...going to eat and smoking some shisha

Introducing the 2019 GMs: Bilal Javed (Abbasids) & Nirvaan Latif (Nasrids)

Written by: Zahid Merchant and Hashim Ghazi
 
Our next GM Bilal Javed takes over the Abbasids franchise that has struggled to meet expectations. With a rebranding of the Abbasids team under works, Bilal has committed to turning around the franchises fortunes. He will help another returning GM Nirvaan Latif by commiting to split the Waheed/Khilji/Mahmood khandan. Nirvaan returns this season after having taken the Nasrids to the finals and a semi-final in the last two years. He is hoping they can finally get over the hump this season.  
 
Bilal Javed                    
 
Career Numbers: 59 games, 111 hits, 8 doubles, 27 homeruns, 100 RBIs, 0.600 Avg 
Accolades: 3 time All-star, 1 Championship, Midseason Tournament Cup Winner, Most Improved Player
 
  1. Past teams: Seljuqs, Nasrids, Mughals, Abbasids
  2. Nicknames: Billa
  3. In your opinion, what was your best season in the League?: 2018 (16 GP) - 0.673 AVG, 1.981 OPS, 37 H, 2 2B, 11 HR, 34 RBI
  4. What is the quality you think is most important in a GM?:  Team chemistry and morale
  5. Which position is the most important to your team's style of play - pitcher, third base, shortstop or centre field?: Pitcher, because, as seen with past champions of the League, having a top-tier pitcher is a huge advantage to the team
  6. What is the one quality you look for first and foremost in a teammate in BSL?: Being a team player
  7. Who is the most favourite teammate you have played with in BSL?: Zahid Merchant
  8. Who is the most underrated teammate you have played with in BSL?: Yousaf Chaudhry
  9. Any pre-game or in-game superstitions?: I am not one to believe in rituals or superstitions, but I like to do a quick BP (batting practice) session before the game so I can feel the ball come off the bat before I come up to the plate
  10. What is your post game go-to meal?:  Anything good
  11. What is your softball bat of choice?:  Miken Freak 30
  12. What is the one rule change you would make in the League - move the bases an extra five feet apart; move the pitching mind an extra 10 feet back; find a new field that has a home run fence that is 25 feet further out all around; or have a maximum of three outfield?:  Move the pitching mound back ten feet
  13. Finish this sentence: When my team wins the championship, my team will celebrate by...having a team dinner

Nirvaan Latif                            

Career Numbers: 79 games, 136 hits,  22 doubles, 22 homeruns, 126 RBIs, 0.531 Avg 
Accolades: 3 time All-star, Gold Gloves, Regular Season MVP, Homerun Title
 
  1. Past teams: Seljuqs, Nasrids
  2. Nicknames: I'll plead the fifth on this one
  3. In your opinion, what was your best season in the League?: 2017 (14 GP) - 0.571 AVG, 1.478 OPS, 28 H, 4 2B, 4 HR, 20 RBI
  4. What is the quality you think is most important in a GM?:  Open to listening to his players - everyone has something to bring to the table
  5. Which position is the most important to your team's style of play - pitcher, third base, shortstop or centre field?: Shortstop and Centre Field, because they are the captains of the field.  They are responsible for directing the team before, during and after each play.  If they have a good baseball IQ, your team will be good.
  6. What is the one quality you look for first and foremost in a teammate in BSL?: Good baseball IQ
  7. Who is the most favourite teammate you have played with in BSL?: A lot to name, but I'll pick N K
  8. Who is the most underrated teammate you have played with in BSL?: [information has been redacted by the Nasrids due to potential implications in 2019 gameplan]
  9. Any pre-game or in-game superstitions?: None, but we aspire to warm up like the Ottomans
  10. What is your post game go-to meal?:  After a win - Osmow's.  After a loss - whatever is in my fridge at home
  11. What is your softball bat of choice?:  Miken Freak 30 Maxload, 26 oz
  12. What is the one rule change you would make in the L - move the bases an extra five feet apart; move the pitching mind an extra 10 feet back; find a new field that has a home run fence that is 25 feet further out all around; or have a maximum of three outfield?:  Find a new field that has a home run fence that is 25 feet further out all around
  13. Finish this sentence: When my team wins the championship, my team will celebrate by...drinking the Barbican that has been on ice since 2014 :( insha'Allah insha'Allah insha'Allah!

Introducing the 2019 GMs: Taha Iqbal (Ottomans) & Umair Jabbar (Seljuqs)

Written by: Zahid Merchant & Hashim Ghazi
 
Our next new GM that takes over the Ottomans franchise is Taha Iqbal. Taha has been a key contributor on many of his teams and now takes over the Ottomans that have been contenders every year but have yet to earn a title. Our league welcomes back GM of Seljuqs Umair Jabbar. Umair led a great group of youngin's on his team last year than fell one inning short of the playoffs. Umair and Taha have plenty in common. Firstly, they were both traded for each other on draft day in 2016. Secondlly, you can hear both their booming voices in the Birchwood parking lot (about 1000 feet) from the diamonds on game days. 
 
Taha Iqbal                    
 
Career Numbers: 76 games, 153 hits, 27 doubles, 3 triples, 21 home runs, 144 RBIs,  0.577 Avg 
Accolades: 5 time All-star, 1 Championship, Playoff MVP, Gold Glove
 
  1. Past teams: Ayyubids, Seljuqs, Ottomans
  2. Nicknames: Javed Miandad for my backfoot cover drive over second base
  3. In your opinion, what was your best season in the League?: 2018 (15 GP) - 0.719 AVG, 2.002 OPS, 41 H, 8 2B, 8 HR, 28 RBI, 3 BB
  4. What is the quality you think is most important in a GM?:  Sense of humour - if you end up like the [redacted] did the last two years, you'll do well to have a good sense of humour
  5. Which position is the most important to your team's style of play - pitcher, third base, shortstop or centre field?: Third Base, because that's my position and the world revolves around me
  6. What is the one quality you look for first and foremost in a teammate in BSL?: High self-esteem - you've got to be able to take some heat from your GMs when you're hitting just 0.400
  7. Who is the most favourite teammate you have played with in BSL?: Furhan Azmat
  8. Who is the most underrated teammate you have played with in BSL?: Tanseer Khawaja
  9. Any pre-game situations or in-game superstitions?: I recite Robbie Alomar's name three times before taking the first pitch of my third at-bat.  If your data scientists were any good, they'd tell you that I bat 0.847 on my third at-bats during my career
  10. What is your post game go-to meal?:  I prefer mid-game meals.  I roam around the Mamluks campe between games for any leftovers
  11. What is your softball bat of choice?:  Miken DC41 - 28 oz
  12. What is the one rule change you would make in the L - move the bases an extra five feet apart; move the pitching mind an extra 10 feet back; find a new field that has a home run fence that is 25 feet further out all around; or have a maximum of three outfield?:  Make the bases an exra five feet apart
  13. Finish this sentence: When my team wins the championship, my team will celebrate by...doing the Icelandic Viking Clap (OOH!)

Umair Jabbar                            

Career Numbers: 71 games, 105 hits, 16 doubles, 16 homeruns, 103 RBIs, 34 BB, 0.488 Avg 
Accolades: 5 time All-star, 2 Gold Gloves
 
  1. Past teams: Abbasids, Ayyubids, Seljuqs
  2. Nicknames: Umm not sure - I think Shezzy (Shahzad Ahmed) calls me baby Jabbar or pappu Jabbar
  3. In your opinion, what was your best season in the League?: 2018 (16 GP) - 0.596 AVG, 1.525 OPS, 31 H, 6 2B, 4 HR, 26 RBI, 4 BB
  4. What is the quality you think is most important in a GM?:  Competitive but fun - okay, sorry; I know that's technically two qualities but you cannot just say fun competitive lol.  Because the team should feed off your energy and zeal to win but at the same time, do so in a fun environment
  5. Which position is the most important to your team's style of play - pitcher, third base, shortstop or centre field?: Shortstop, because a smart and capable shortstop can turn routine plays and has the IQ to know where they are going with the ball.  They command the infield and can set the tone for a game.  Most plays pull, and if that's the case, a good shortstop disarms a chunk of your opponent
  6. What is the one quality you look for first and foremost in a teammate in BSL?: Respective (and mature) - it doesn't count as two if it's in brackets
  7. Who is the most favourite teammate you have played with in BSL?: All of the Seljuqs from last year
  8. Who is the most underrated teammate you have played with in BSL?: Hassan "Desert" Afzal 
  9. Any pre-game situations or in-game superstitions?: Nope
  10. What is your post game go-to meal?:  If you've met me, you'd know that pretty much anything fatty, super uhealthy and more than filling
  11. What is your softball bat of choice?:  Aaah BSL going into the data collection now eh? Umm, I haven't really had any bat click other than the old school Louisville Z4000 (28 oz end loaded) and the 2018 Miken DC41 (26 oz)
  12. What is the one rule change you would make in the League - move the bases an extra five feet apart; move the pitching mind an extra 10 feet back; find a new field that has a home run fence that is 25 feet further out all around; or have a maximum of three outfield?:  Find a new field that has a home run fence that is 25 feet further out all around
  13. Finish this sentence: When my team wins the championship, my team will celebrate by...going to Disney World!  Just a football saying lol, don't hold me to it.  Not sure, we'll all see at the end of the year I guess insha'Allah!

Introducing the 2019 GMs: Hassan Chaudhry (Mamluks) & Umair Sheikh (Ayyubids)

Written by: Zahid Merchant & Hashim Ghazi
 
BSL is excited to announce our first two GMs for the upcoming season. Both of them are no strangers to each other as Captains of their respective Bordertown teams. Umair and Hassan have played together in BSL for two seasons and now will GM their own sides. We asked each of the GMs this season a series of questions for the League to know them better and understand their strategy to build their new empire. 
 
Hassan Chaudhry                    
 
Career Numbers: 55 games, 100 hits, 24 doubles, 7 triples, 3 homeruns, 72 RBI, 0.562 Avg
Accolades: 3 time All-star, 1 Championship, Batting title, Gold Glove
 
  1. Past teams: Mamluks, Mughals, Ottomans
  2. Nicknames: None
  3. In your opinion, what was your best season in the League?: 2016 (12 GP) - 0.771 AVG, 1.910 OPS, 27 H, 5 2B, 1 HR, 25 RBI, 12 BB
  4. What is the quality you think is most important in a GM?:  Patience - a willingness to work with the entire roster as your top pick may not be the one with the most room to improve
  5. Which position is the most important to your team's style of play - pitcher, third base, shortstop or centre field?: Shortstop, because it's softball and SS trumps all
  6. What is the one quality you look for first and foremost in a teammate in BSL?: Effort and a willingness to improve
  7. Who is the most favourite teammate you have played with in BSL?: Zahid Merchant because he signs the checks...serious note: there's too many to name; the beauty of the draft system is there's always someone new every year that I have the pleasure of playing with
  8. Who is the most underrated teammate you have played with in BSL?: Jibran Waqar - you haven't seen his final form, but again many teammates come to mind, evidenced by their draft stock the year after we've played together.  Mainly it's the guys who display versatility in the field and intelligence at bat that are underrated
  9. Any pre-game or in-game superstitions?: In the outfield, I'm always moving; walking back and forth even between pitches.  I believe it helps me keep engaged
  10. What is your post game go-to meal?:  Popeye's
  11. What is your softball bat of choice?:  26 oz balanced - make and model doesn't matter anymore as most bats are really good
  12. What is the one rule change you would make in the L - move the bases an extra five feet apart; move the pitching mind an extra 10 feet back; find a new field that has a home run fence that is 25 feet further out all around; or have a maximum of three outfield?:  Find a new field that has a home run fence that is 25 feet further out all around
  13. Finish this sentence: When my team wins the championship, my team will celebrate by...congrutulating the opposition on a great season with hardy handshakes...then POPEYE'S

Umair Sheikh                            

Career Numbers: 47 games, 89 hits, 26 doubles, 5 HR, 50 RBI, 0.543 Avg 
Accolades: 1 time All-star, 1 Championship, 2 Gold Gloves
 
  1. Past teams: Mamluks, Ayyubids
  2. Nicknames: Fastest Player in BSL
  3. In your opinion, what was your best season in the Leage?: 2018 (14 GP) - 0.608 AVG, 1.597 OPS, 31 H, 13 2B, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 4 BB
  4. What is the quality you think is most important in a GM?:  Gameplan
  5. Which is the most important in your teams style of play - pitcher, third base, shortstop or centre field?: Shortstop, because SS is the most important position in softball
  6. What is the one quality you look for first and foremost in a teammate in BSL?: Positive energy
  7. Who is the most favourite teammate you have played with in BSL?: Hassan Chaudhry
  8. Who is the most underrated teammate you have played with in BSL?: Mohamed Kala
  9. Any pre-game or in-game superstitions?: None
  10. What is your post game go-to meal?:  Popeye's
  11. What is your softball bat of choice?:  26 oz Miken Max Loaded
  12. What is the one rule change you would make to the League - move the bases an extra five feet apart; move the pitching mind an extra 10 feet back; find a new field that has a home run fence that is 25 feet further out all around; or have a maximum of three outfield?:  Make the bases an extra five feet apart
  13. Finish this sentence: When my team wins the championship, my team will celebrate by...partying like animals

2018 BSL Awards

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.