Sports, Cricket

Future BPL editions could look at new dates to ensure foreign player availability

Published : 27 Sep 2022 06:33 PM

The Bangladesh Cricket Board is looking at more flexibility the fixed dates for the 2024 and the 2025 editions of the Bangladesh Premier League. The development comes amidst a growing competition among the leagues for availability of overseas players. 

While announcing the seven teams for the next cycle of the BPL, the BCB had also fixed the dates for the tournaments - BPL 2023 from January 6 to February 16, BPL 2024 from January 6 to February 17 and BPL 2025 from January 1 to February 11. However, with leagues like the SA20, Australia's Big Bash and UAE's ILT20 clashing with the BPL schedule, the BCB is looking to make changes. 

"We cannot change the schedule (for 2023) due to national team. In that case maximum four [overseas] players can play in the XI while we are planning that there should be at least two foreigners in each playing XI. We will not put any obligation on foreign player registration, it will remain open. For example, someone comes and plays for three days, later the franchise can bring another cricketer as his replacement, we have such thoughts," Ismail Haider, the BPL governing council member secretary, told reporters on Monday (September 26). 

"There will be no limitation on foreign signing because there are lots of tournaments besides IPL and it is difficult to get foreign players. Basically there is no alternative other than holding this tournament on said dates in 2023. Probably in the next year or the year after, it will not be a problem as we will do better if we play the tournament a bit earlier," he added. 

Haider admitted that the BPL, despite starting in 2012, hasn't been able to match other T20 leagues but hoped that the competition can hold its own. "When it [BPL] was considered after the IPL, there were not so many tournaments. At that place, we moved to a good position. Now look at the world, many T20 tournaments have been launched. CPL is happening, PSL is happening, Big Bash is happening, UAE League is here, South Africa is doing it, Sri Lanka will do it next. It's difficult to compare with them but we want it to be our major domestic tournament. 

"We cannot do it like IPL or PSL because it will be difficult as lot of money is involved and we have to sell the rights at much higher price. We cannot play home and away as the venues are not ready but we want to make it as one of the best tournaments of the year," he added. 

Meanwhile, Haider said the upcoming editions of the BPL will not have any icon players but teams will be allowed to sign one local player outside the draft. "There will be seven grades (for local players) - BDT 80, 50, 30, 20, 15, 10 and 5 lakhs respectively. There will be no icon while the direct (local) signing will be the top graded players of the respective franchises." 

The 2023 edition of the BPL will be held in three venues - Dhaka, Chattogram and Sylhet - with a total of 46 matches. The player draft will be held on either October 7 or 8.