BPL set to become a larger affair

Bangladesh Cricket Board is mulling the option of increasing the number of franchises at the Bangladesh Premier League because of wide interest, said BCB president Nazmul Hasan on Saturday.
According to BCB insiders, BPL is likely to be an eight-team affair, as Rangpur cleared their dues while Sylhet is on their way to clear it by August 27, the deadline set by BPL governing council to the old franchises to clear their dues.
BCB received expression of interest from 11 new companies during their bid for interested new franchises, which ended on August 17.
‘We have 12 teams to consider now,’ Nazmul told reporters after an impromptu meeting of BPL governing council at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Saturday.
‘Among the old teams, Rangpur cleared their dues,’ said Nazmul.
Nazmul said they are confident of hosting a ‘payment dispute-free’ BPL this time, as they had asked for TK I crore as pay order and Tk 4.5 crore as bank guarantee for players’ payment.
‘We won’t have any risk if we get the money. All the expenditure, including foreign and local, will be covered. There will be no scope of a problem like in previous years. After that, we will scrutinise to see who will get the franchise,’ said Nazmul.
BPL was stopped after two years for payment problems, beside match fixing allegations.
Nazmul also gave a lifeline to the old franchises if they can pay the money by August 27.
‘First they have to pay the dues and then pay for this time. Then we shall decide who will be awarded franchises. I am not so sure, however, whether that will be ethical,’ he said.
‘But then it might go against those who cleared their dues earlier. But I suppose if they are paying now and as there will be a bank guarantee for players’ payment, there will be no risk this time around,’ said Nazmul.
Tk 36 crore 85 lakhs is currently due from five companies. Sylhet owes almost eight and a half crore taka from two sessions of BPL, Barisal has six and a half crore, Khulna has eight crore 19 lakh, Rajshahi has six crore nine lakh and Chittagong has seven crore and 45 lakh.
Nazmul added that at the BPL, players, including foreigners, will be assigned through lottery, known as ‘players by choice’.
‘Another thing being discussed is setting price ceilings from local and foreign players. The situation is such that we have to go by the lottery,’ he said.
‘We have to set players in categories to watch out for one team becoming too strong or weak. We will provide a big list of foreign cricketers as well,’ said Nazmul.
‘You can form a good team with Tk seven crore under this system. Besides, outside this, teams can bring more foreign players but BCB will not take responsibility for their payments,’ he said.
Syhet Royals owner Nafisa Kamal said she will pay the dues by the deadline, after meeting the board president after the BPL governing council meeting.

-With New Age input

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