Bangladesh board has planned to revive the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) tournament this year in November. It will be first after two years when it was halted in the wake of match-fixing scandals.
This announcement is a big question mark after more downs than ups faced by the league. Even if BCB succeed to launch it, its success is still unwarranted.
Big tickets are most likely to miss the event because most of the Test playing nations will be busy playing each other in a heavy schedule during November and December.
India is hosting South Africa while England is playing a full series against Pakistan in UAE. Sri Lanka and West Indies are having a series after quite some time while New Zealand will be touring Australia.
BPL started in 2012, was suspended indefinitely after the second edition amid revelations that former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful and four others were involved in fixing matches.
The BPL’s second edition ended on February 19, 2013 after which the BPL tribunal dealt with corruption allegations on a number of players and officials. BPL was also tainted by salary issues and most of the franchises failing to pay match fees to players.
BPL’s gverning council has already made it clear that Dhaka Gladiators are unlikely to be participate due to the corruption charges against them. Their owners Shihab Jishan Chowdhury and Salim Chowdhury have been each banned for 10 years.
The incident of alleged match and spot-fixing came to light in May 2013 when BCB president Nazmul Hassan confirmed that a Bangladesh player had been questioned by the ICC.
Mohammad Ashraful was the first one who pleaded guilty and confessed to the media that he had revealed everything to the ICC. He later apologised to the nation for his misbehaviour.
Earlier, Former Bangladesh spinner Shariful Haque was also banned in September 2012 after an inquiry found him guilty of spot-fixing during the first edition of the BPL.
A Pakistani national was arrested in separate spot-fixing charges in 2012. In March 2013, the BCB handed down a 10-year ban to umpire Nadir Shah after a sting operation by an Indian TV channel found him apparently willing to fix matches for cash.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has decided “not to involve” former captain Mohammad Ashraful in any form of cricket until the ICC’s ACSU submits its report.
Ashraful was the first player to admit to being involved in corruption, after which formal charges were laid against nine individuals, including six players from the Dhaka Gladiators franchise.
Ashraful became the country’s youngest Test centurion in 2001 at the age of 17 and captained Bangladesh between 2007 and 2009. He played in 61 Test matches and complied 2737 runs for an average of 24. He scored six centuries during his Test career which spanned from 2001 to 2013. In ODIs, Ashraful managed 3468 runs in 177 matches for an average of 22.23.
But Bangladesh Cricket Board officials said the new tournament starting in November would feature six new franchises, including in Dhaka and Chittagong, backed by big companies.
BPL secretary Ismail Haider told a press conference in Dhaka, “This time we’ve big companies buying franchises. So hopefully players’ payment won’t be an issue from now on”.
“We are confident BPL will attract some of the best cricketers on earth,” he added.
Haider also urged that anti-corruption officers would be engaged by BCP to tackle match-fixing issues. “We have our own anti-graft unit, which is fully functional.”
He claimed that the players’ payments were almost cleared. “We have cleared 90% of all payments. If we still get any valid claims, we will look into it carefully. For the local players who are still unpaid, we have given Naimur Rahman the responsibility to get their payment cleared.”
Ashraful and four players and officials, including New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent, were banned for various periods after a tribunal set up jointly by the International Cricket Council and the BCB found them guilty.