Good and bad news for BPL
It was a mixed day for the Bangladesh Premier League as an international cricketer turned down the chance to play the competition's inaugural season. At the same time, the proposed link with a major television channel could boost the Twenty20 tournament.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy has put his own country's domestic and international commitments first, despite being acquired by Sylhet Royals for 55,000 dollars.
"I am both humbled and honoured by this recognition of me as a professional cricketer," Sammy told AFP on Friday. "I have informed the BPL and the Sylhet Royals that I am unable to accept it at this stage. While I enjoyed playing cricket in front the enthusiastic and passionate Bangladeshi fans, the BPL's schedule clashes with that of the West Indies Cricket Board's Regional 4-Day tournament."
Azhar Mahmood will replace Sammy, the veteran Pakistani all-rounder costing the Sylhet franchise 100,000 dollars.
On the other hand, the BPL authorities could get a shot in the arm if Game On Sports can bring in ESPNStar as the international broadcaster of the competition, as the popular sports channel is in talks with the event management ,firm a source confirmed.
When asked about the potential deal, BCB media committee chairman Jalal Yunus said, "It is more or less confirmed."
Though the contemporary skipper has backed out, West Indies legends Viv Richards and Gordon Greenidge have been linked with BPL.
It was learned from franchise sources that the Master Blaster is all set to become the brand ambassador of the Chittagong Kings while Greenidge could join the Khulna Royal Bengals as the head coach.
Meanwhile, the BPL governing council in a meeting yesterday fixed the price of the icon players of the six franchises, which will be five per cent more than the highest valued Bangladeshi cricketer in the BPL T20 auction held on January 19. Since Nasir Hossain was the highest priced local player at 200,000 dollars, the icons will each receive 210,000 dollars.