The seventh edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) will be held from the scheduled date of December 6, but not in a franchise-based system, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan revealed yesterday.
Instead, the BCB will hold the tournament and manage the teams by themselves in the T20 tournament, to be named ‘Bangabandhu BPL’ to mark the 100th birthday of the Father of the Nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Following a series of meetings between the franchisees and the BPL governing council for the new four-year cycle, the board decided it would not be possible to stage the tournament in a franchise-based system this year.
“The BPL is a tough task. We are yet to sign fresh agreements with the franchisees. We had meetings with them and many of the franchisees had a list of observations and demands. But it is not possible to meet those demands with the BPL model we currently have,” Hassan told reporters at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
“There are also a few franchises who are unhappy with having two editions of the tournament in the same year. It is not that they do not want to participate, but they have made that observation. So, having considered the whole situation, we will have a T20 tournament managed by the board this year. No franchises will be involved in this tournament. The tournament will be funded by the board.”
The BCB boss also cleared the air over players’ payments, accommodation costs and also about appointing coaching staff under the new structure and said: “We are going to dedicate the upcoming edition of the BPL to Bangabandhu and the tournament will be named after him. All the teams will remain the same, only the BCB will be part of the management. I hope everyone will be happy. It’s more like the Big Bash League of Australia.”
He added that the players’ draft and auction would be staged in the same manner and, although the tournament will not be franchise-based, the names of the teams will remain the same and the option for sponsors is still open.
“We will provide everything but if we have a team sponsor then they might do something. If they want to bring some foreign players through direct signings, they can. And if any team wants to bring expensive coaches, they can also do that. The sponsors will be given some advantages,” said Hassan.
However, he clearly expressed that they were not going for any contracts with franchisees this season as their demands could not be met in such a short time, which is the reason the BCB decided to spend the huge amount of money themselves.