Unlike other domestic competitions, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has chalked out almost everything relating to the fifth edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) well in advance.
The cash-rich T20 tournament will kick off on November 4 after a 'gorgeous' opening ceremony on November 2 and the players' draft on September 16. More than five months before the tournament, the BPL governing council called a press conference yesterday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, where chairman Afzalur Rahman Sinha and member secretary IH Mallick disclosed the details.
“Except for a few things we have completed all the groundwork for the next tournament. This time eight franchises will take part as Sylhet is almost set to return to the competition after a one-year break. Besides Dhaka and Chittagong, we are planning to hold some matches in Sylhet,” said Sinha, also a BCB director, adding that a total of 60 matches will take place in the season.
Mallick praised the high standard of the Sylhet International Stadium, but also pointed out the accommodation issues in the city as only one international standard hotel exists there.
There was nothing noteworthy in the announcement except for the governing council's plan to increase the quota for inclusion of foreign players in the playing eleven from four to five.
When questioned about the logic behind the increase, Mallick offered different reasons including the rise in the number of participating teams, shortage of talented players in the country, commercial interest and the demand of some participating franchises.
“We are yet to take the final decision but some franchises are demanding five foreign playing members. We will finalise it later. There are both positive and negative sides in this regard, so we will make our final decision after discussing with the franchises,” said Mallick.