A short summary of the embarrassing lead up to BPL 2023
After BPL 2022's hurried conclusion, fans hoped for something better this time. To Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB) credit, they have exceeded expectations – achieving peak comedy in BPL 2023 even before the first ball of the tournament was bowled.
With the self-proclaimed "second-best T20 league after IPL" underway, let's look at a few embarrassing instances of BPL 2023.
Failure to hype the tournament
When someone asked me about the date BPL 2023 was to start, I actually had to Google it up before I could muster an answer. On the other hand, when a reporter of a private TV channel asked the umpires if they knew the teams' names, they avoided journalists and failed to answer correctly.
Compared to previous editions, there is a lack of genuine interest in BPL within our cricketing arena. Although social media is somewhat abuzz about BPL, people are more busy trolling the shortcomings of the management than being hyped about the tournament.
No team gear
Teams training or even playing without their gear is a common BPL theme. Even so, the social media managers have laid it all bare again. A look at the teams' social media posts shows players training without their franchise's training kits and wearing their own gear.
Among them, Chattogram Challengers really stands out. In their official team photo, all-rounder Ziaur Rahman is seen wearing jeans instead of the team trousers. Sure enough, social media was quick to make this photo viral, bringing further ridicule to the BCB and the team management.
Lack of DRS
Fans hoped that this BPL will have Decision Review System (DRS). Pouring cold water to our expectations, BPL governing council member Ismail Haider Mallick announced that the BCB failed to bring DRS to this edition's group stages since multiple bilateral series and franchise T20 leagues are going on simultaneously.
Not only does it take fairness out of the game, but it also spells disgrace for Bangladesh's cricket. A modern day franchise league in a test-playing nation of our size not being able to procure DRS is unacceptable.
Throughout his career, Shakib Al Hasan was never the type to back down if something was amiss. Naturally, he went public with his grievances two days before BPL 2023 started. He told reporters that if he were the CEO, he would scrap everything and give fans the perfect BPL within two months, complete with star players and positive hype and marketing.
It's a sentiment Mashrafe Mortaza has agreed with since. Players publicly speaking against BCB's upper echelons reaffirms how horrendous the build-up has been. It looks unsavoury, but for the sake of BPL's future, this had to be told. Fans can only hope things improve once the action progresses and beyond.
The comical trophy unveiling day
Journalists present at the trophy unveiling event were quick to note that the press conference happened in the open air, with only pandals erected to shield them from the winds.
During the unveiling, Dhaka Dominators captain Nasir Hossain apparently walked off as it was taking long, although he returned later. In the Q&A session, Nasir again found himself in controversy, making crude jokes at a journalist's question.
In addition, the timing of BPL also drew considerable flak, as many more lucrative franchise tournaments limited BPL's scope of attracting star players. This illustrates the sorry state of a once-revered tournament slowly heading towards a painful extinction.
1. The Daily Star. December 31, 2022. No DRS in BPL group-stage, confirms Mallick.
2. ESPN Crincinfo. January 4, 2023. Shakib makes scathing criticism of BPL: 'Huge failure of marketing.'
Inqiad is a passionate Bucks fan and a Giannis stan. Contact him at [email protected]