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BPL T20 set for delayed start

  • Published at 08:40 pm October 10th, 2019

It is now widely believed that the BPL governing council could not cope with the limited time following sudden revamp of the tournament structure, and thus, the hint of a possible delay has been stated by the BCB

The seventh edition of the Bangladesh Premier League T20 is likely to be delayed by a week or more. 

The Bangladesh Cricket Board had initially planned to start the special edition of the tournament on December 6 this year without involving the six existing franchises. 

However, it is now widely believed that the BPL governing council could not cope with the limited time following sudden revamp of the tournament structure, and thus, the hint of a possible delay has been stated by the board.

A group of BCB directors who are actively working to hold the upcoming BPL had a meeting at the BCB headquarters Thursday.

On the same day, the board also met the interested parties who had submitted Expression of Interest for team sponsorship for the BPL that will mark the 100th birth centenary of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

“We are slowly progressing. We have finished one step [of meeting the interested sponsors]. We might delay the tournament by a week as we had planned to start on December 6,” said BPL GC chairman Sheikh Sohel to the reporters Thursday.

BCB director Mahbub Anam adding to Sohel’s explanation said, “We have an international series [against Pakistan] after the BPL. But we will take the proper time needed to hold the tournament. We are yet to meet two of the interested sponsors for the team. Once that is done BPL GC will have an immediate meeting.”

It is understood that the BCB has received EOIs from six interested parties but all will not be boarded in the tournament for the season. 

In such case, the BCB will bear the expenses of the team who are left without a sponsor.

“We met four sponsor partners. They also had many queries and we had some. We wanted to know more about them, their company background. Their role as a sponsor was explained. It is not that all those who have submitted EOI will be handed the rights because not everyone will be able to fulfill the BCB terms,” said Mahbub.

The sponsors will not have any active role when it comes to managing the team. 

A BCB director will be assigned as team director for each of the seven teams where they will supervise the team operations.

The board has reached out to assign international head coaches for each of the teams. 

There is however, confusion as to whether the head coaches will include any local names, despite the board’s strong claims that this BPL edition will highlight local talents.

“As you know there will be no franchise this year. The sponsors will not be part of the decision making but only fund the teams. It is a model similar to Big Bash [in Australia]. We will assign international coaches for each of the teams. The names of the interested coaches have already been received by the board. We are also looking into options of team physio, trainer, etc,” said Mahbub.

“The sponsors of the BPL teams this year will get the same benefits as the national team sponsors. They will not have any direct involvement with the team planning but they can always make their suggestions. Around 400 overseas [390] cricketers have already registered for the draft. The date for the players’ draft will soon be decided. If any of the team sponsors thinks that they want to include a big overseas cricketer from outside the draft, they will have to bear the cost of that [on top of the Tk6 crores that they are already paying],” the BCB director added.

Interestingly, the board in order to lift the local players’ participation in the tournament is going to set mandatory rules. 

Though a bit on the contradictory side to a team’s strategy, the board is mulling making it mandatory for the sides to include a local leg-spinner in the playing XI, along with some other conditions which the board will soon set.

“There will be a few mandatory conditions. The franchises field a team with the intention to win and that has sidelined many of our local cricketers. There are a few suggestions from our national team management, such as, we need leg-spinners so it will be mandatory for the teams to play a leg-spinner [local] in the XI and the bowler will have to bowl four overs in the game,” said Mahbub.

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