BCB takes control of Bangladesh Premier League

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has opted to take control of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) after a dispute with six of the seven owners of the domestic Twenty20 competition’s franchises.

BCB president Nazmul Hassan has said the Board has taken action owing to a number of issues, including the planned staging of a second edition of the BPL in 2019 to tie in with the centenary of the birth of ‘Bangabandhu’ Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the nation, and a spat between teams over the move of national team star Shakib Al Hasan.

“We were supposed to rework the agreements with the franchises this year,” Hassan said, according to the ESPNcricinfo website. “We have met them in between, we have had lots of meetings, and they have made a number of demands. But these are in direct conflict with the BPL model we have been working with. It’s not possible to accommodate the demands.

“Some of them don’t want two editions of the BPL in one year. They haven’t said they won’t play, but they don’t want it, because of the pressure of putting it together twice. We have considered everything, and decided to host the next BPL on our own. We won’t have franchises.”

The BPL ran one edition from January 5 to February 8, but the BCB is planning to stage a 2019-20 edition across December and January to commence the celebrations of Bangabandhu’s birthday on March 17.

Hassan said: “We want to begin the celebrations with cricket. We will dedicate this edition of the BPL to Bangabandhu. It will be called the Bangabandhu BPL, and if a sponsor comes along, that name will be added to the title.

“We are happy to have team sponsors. The names might change depending on what the sponsors want. We will try to maintain some logic – Dhaka, Khulna, Chattogram (Chittagong), these names will stay.”

However, ESPNcricinfo reports that the major issue was the move of Shakib from Dhaka Dynamites to Rangpur Riders earlier this year. The exit of the all-rounder, long regarded as Bangladesh’s star player, reportedly led Dhaka to demand a change in the rules.

Rangpur Riders chief executive Ishtiaque Sadeque said: “Apart from Dhaka Dynamites, everyone wanted the same thing. Shakib left Dhaka, so they couldn’t accept it. We all wanted the old rules to stay, that’s all.

“Now the BCB wants to run the BPL like a Dhaka Premier League. That’s a joke. We have been spending crores to bring the best players from overseas. Let’s see what the BCB do. Wait and watch.”

Hassan is confident over the future of a BCB-run BPL, comparing the move as similar to Cricket Australia’s status as the operator of the Big Bash League. He added: “BCB will own all the teams. You can compare it to the Big Bash, it will be the same format. The same teams will be there, but the management will be the BCB’s.

“We will pay all the salaries, we will arrange the hospitality, the travel, everything. I think everyone will be satisfied with this. The team owners who didn’t want to play will also be happy. The ones who were worried about losing money will be even happier. They will save all the money.

“I can’t say right now if this will be the future. If it’s needed, the BCB will remain in charge. We have a set of rules, and we will outline more rules going forward. If someone wants to join, they can. But no one can join the BPL and then refuse to accept the rules.”