The Bangladesh Cricket Board on Tuesday said that it will resume the scandal-hit Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 tournament in December this year. BPL was marred by allegations of match-fixing and non-payment of local and international players and was postponed just after its second season in 2013. Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful, Sri Lankan cricketer Kaushal Lokuarachchi, New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent were banned for different periods in a match-fixing scandal unfolded on May 2013.
The owners of twice champions Dhaka Gladiators – Salim Chowdhury and his son Shihab Jishan Chowdhury were also banned for 10 years by a special tribunal and disciplinary panel set up by the BCB.
‘A lot of things happened since the last edition of BPL, but we decided to move on,’ said the tournament’s governing council secretary Ismail Haider at a press conference in Dhaka.
‘At the moment we don’t have any domestic Twenty20 tournament in our country. To get one, BPL is our best option.’
Ismail added that the agreements with all seven franchises, who participated in the 2013 edition, have been terminated and they are now looking for new franchises.
‘All seven franchises have become defaulters over the time. We have terminated their agreements and asked them to join in an arbitration process,’ he said.
‘They have already invested some money on it, so we preferred to give them a chance to come to the arbitration.
‘If a solution can be reached we are fine. Otherwise we will take new franchises. We are already working on that,’ he said, adding that the Board will take the final decision.
FICA, the international players’ federation, last year had advised the players against future participation in BPL because of prolonged non-payment of fees, but the officials brushed aside the fear.
Ismail claimed that BCB has completed the 90 per cent payment of international players and former national captain Naimur Rahman was entrusted with responsibility to settle the issues with local players.
‘Only few players were remained unpaid because their amount is subject to dispute,’ he said. ‘We hope to settle it before the next edition.’
Ismail added that they will organise the tournament in a low-key manner to avoid further disputes.
‘In the past everything was not handled in a realistic manner,’ he said. ‘We had agreement with Game On for Tk 400 crore in six years.
‘It was highly unrealistic. They cannot earn so much money from our market after meeting the production cost.
‘We decided to reorganise everything and hold the tournament in a low-key manner, so that everyone can afford it,’ he said.
Ismail added that India-based event management firm owes the BCB now Tk six crore.
‘If they can complete the payment, they will be offered the broadcasting rights.’
‘In the past they [Game On] handled everything. But we are not going to give them anything other than the broadcasting rights this time,’ he said.
BPL governing council chairman Afzalur Rahman, BCB media committee chairman Jalal Yunus and chief executive officer Nizamuddin Chowdhury also spoke on the occasion.
-With New Age input