The Bangladesh Cricket Board have announced that the first edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) will get underway on the 9th February 2012, with the tournament final pencilled in for 29th February.
There will be six franchises (Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Sylhet and Rajshahi) in the inaugural edition of the tournament, with each of those being allotted one of the Bangladesh team’s national players as an ‘icon player’. Franchises will be allowed to field five foreign players in each match and will play each other twice in a round-robin format before the semi-finals and final. Most of the matches will be played at the Shere-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka, with the rest at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong.
The tournament will be organised by Game on Sports Management Company of India, who bought the six-year rights to the tournament name for around $44m earlier this month. Their consultant, former Indian cricketer and commentator Arun Lal, compared the event to the IPL, saying, “We all invested a huge amount of money behind the new version of cricket (IPL) in India despite a lot of fear, risk and acrid criticism from the vested quarters ahead of the event. But it has been turned into the most remunerative business.”
Lal also detailed the number of foreign players likely to be involved, adding, “We have got the tacit consent and commitment from 40 foreign cricketers to date. The number will be increased within a few weeks. We all hope it will be around 100 players.”
Among those rumoured to be involved are Peter Trego, Matt Prior, James Foster and James Tredwell from England; Fidel Edwards and Kieron Pollard from West Indies; Andrew Hall, Herschelle Gibbs and Claude Henderson from South Africa; and Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Danish Kaneria and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan from Pakistan.
The franchise auction is expected to take place on 5th January in Dhaka, with the player auction scheduled for the weekend of 14th and 15th of that month. It is also hoped by the organisers that the competition winner will be invited to join the 2012 edition of the Champions League T20.
Barisal: Shahriar Nafees
Chittagong: Tamim Iqbal
Dhaka: Mohammad Ashraful
Khulna: Shakib Al Hasan
Rajshahi: Mushfiqur Rahim
Sylhet: Alok Kapali
© Cricket World 2011