Ross Whiteley will be up against many of the world’s leading T20 exponents when his franchise Sylhet Sixers launch the 2017 Bangladesh Premier League against reigning champions Dhaka Dynamites on Saturday.

Kieron Pollard, Kumar Sangakkara, Shahid Afridi, Shane Watson and Mohammad Amir are all part of the Dynamites squad as well as Kent batsman Joe Denly.

Skippering the Dynamites team will be Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan who had two successful spells with Worcestershire.

The tournament is packed with big names including Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum who are both part of the Rangpur Riders squad.

It will be a massive learning experience for Whiteley who is hoping an impressive performance will lead to other T20 call-ups around the world.

Yorkshire and England all-rounder Liam Plunkett is also part of the Sixers squad.

The Sixers opening match will take place in the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium and they will be in action again the following day at the same venue versus Comilla Victorians.

The Victorians squad includes Jos Buttler, Marlon Samuels and Darren and Dwayne Bravo with Tamin Iqbal leading the team.

The other teams taking part are Rajshahi King, Khulna Titans, Rangpur Riders and Chittagong Vikings.

The tournament runs for seven weeks and other venues being used for the group games are the Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur and the Zahur Ahmed Choudhury Stadium, Chittagong.

Whiteley and Sylhet Sixers other group matches – they play all teams twice – are against:

November 7 – Rajshahi Kings

November 8 – Khulna Titans

November 11 – Dhaka Dynamites

November 15 – Khulna Titans

November 17 – Rajshahi Kings

November 20 – Rangpur Riders

November 24 – Chittagong Vikings

November 28 – Rangpur Riders

December 3 – Chittagong Vikings

December 6 – Comilla Victorians