Bangladesh Premier League 2012-13 January 12, 2013

BPL braced for Pakistan withdrawal


The BCB will wait till 10am (0400 GMT) on Wednesday for the PCB to give its No Objection Certificates (NOC) to Pakistan cricketers participating in this year's Bangladesh Premier League. If they are not granted, the domestic Twenty20 tournament, will begin on Friday without any Pakistani players.

"We will wait till 10am and if the PCB doesn't reply, the tournament will go on as per schedule without the Pakistani players," BPL chairman Afzalur Rahman Sinha said, after a long meeting at the BCB headquarters in Mirpur on Tuesday. "We won't bow down to any demand and have decided to carry on. We have already informed that to the franchises and asked them to arrange similar-quality players to replace them."

The negotiations between the two boards have reached a tipping point after the PCB continued to seek a confirmation from the BCB regarding a tour to Pakistan. The BCB has played a waiting game after cancelling a trip for the second time on December 31. After BCB president Nazmul Hassan met his Pakistani counterpart Zaka Ashraf on January 6, the BCB decided to send a second security team but that too has not gone down well in Pakistan.

The seven franchises have been told to seek replacements from among the players who were unsold in the auction, or else find players from outside the list. With two days left before the tournament begins, it is unlikely that the franchises will be able to find enough players to replace the Pakistan cricketers, so popular in Bangladesh. Khulna Royal Bengals is the franchise most hit, as they had bought the services of Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Awais Zia, Umar Amin, Ahmed Shehzad, Haris Sohail and Bilawal Bhatti.

The BCB had voiced confidence until Tuesday afternoon about the Pakistan players finally being made available but as no confirmation from the PCB arrived, the franchises frantically began to look for players in Australia and South Africa as replacements.

The second edition of the BPL has already become an organisational nightmare for the BCB ad-hoc committee members, who have spent most of the last four months trying to clear out payments to players and other parties. The ticket-selling situation has also hit a snag after banks have refused to sell tickets due to security fears.

"I admit that we could not complete the preparation yet. It is because most of our time was consumed clearing the payments of the first edition," BPL secretary, Ismail Haider Mallick, said. "The banks are not prepared to sell the tickets due to security reasons - four banks have backed out. We are hopeful that United Commercial Bank Limited (UCBL) will sell the tickets from Wednesday."

Finding replacements for the withdrawn Pakistan players could take some time but the organisers have not mentioned the possibility of a delayed start. Such a question is likely to be raised by the franchises before the media or the fans, because it is the teams that have to be restocked before the tournament can take off.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Abdullah on January 16, 2013, 1:00 GMT

    @arnold_mccann, I completely agree with you. ICC should get rid of such incompetent individuals asap. I want to add few more things with you, when team goes to overseas it needs to be decided in a board meeting. It also requires govt. clearance. None of the board members were aware of such commitment. Legally it was not a valid commitment. Both board presidents probably mutually agreed to do a favor to each other. It was probably the VP of ICC = BD tour to Pakistan. Isn't that mutually adopting unfair means? If this is true, Mr. Zaka is also equally responsible for this mess as well. I know some people might try to defend Zaka that he tried to bring cricket back in Pakistan, but when there is an illegal contract, both parties are equally responsible. I am not trying to defend Kamal. Cricinfo will not publish my feelings about Kamal. ICC should act responsibly to take cricket back in Pakistan. If Australian / British coaches are there, what Australians and British's are thinking?

  • Uzair on January 15, 2013, 23:46 GMT

    I don't know Why PCB is so keen to play an ODI series with a cricket team which has done literally nothing to prove its test status since it became a test team. They are a below par team in all formats. Even inviting Afghan or Irish cricket team would be better. And as far as BPL is concerned we (Pakistanis) don't give a damn to it. It would be better if our players don't take part in a B grade tournament. No one in Pakistan is going to watch it any way!

  • Shipu on January 15, 2013, 22:39 GMT

    I feel so sorry for my paki brothers, still angry and upset over this refusal to tour their country and our T20 league which has been setup by a minnow team, let me say that its not our fans or players fault, its the board so blame them. Its just a shame that Politics has been mixed with Sports and we need to separate the 2 Cricket is just a game where people play and watch get over it and move on.

    If it wasn't for us then players like Jamshed would have had to wait for a long time to play for Pakistan so you should thank us. Also your Pakistan players also play in DPL every year we help your players so much but you did nothing for us so fair is fair cheers!

  • Zakirul on January 15, 2013, 22:33 GMT

    Posted by KingMSC on (January 15 2013, 21:53 PM GMT) "For all the people who are against PCB need to understand this. Pakistani players came to Bangladesh for BPL season when some other nations declined to participate. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------" I think other than India, players from almost all cricket playing countries participated in the last BPL (Chris Gayle, Jaysuria, Muralidharan,Powell, Chandrapaul, etc etc) . There are a number of players from England, Australia (Tait), NZ, West Indies (Nairen, Edward,etc), Ireland, Zimbabwe, Netherlands, South Africa are also participating this year. Participation of Pak. players in BPL is a win-win situation. Players earn money and the the young players get exposure and experience. Pakistani players (including players like Wasim Akram, S. Malik, Razzaq) are playing in Dhaka leagues for years for lot less money.

  • Smith on January 15, 2013, 22:32 GMT

    It would be of best interest if Bangladesh break away all ties from Pakistan Cricket, we don't care about their affairs and have better things to do then to desperately satisfy them in touring their nation but we wish you well and luck thanks!

    Please Pakistan my dear friends, ask Afghanistan, India, Australia and England who are obviously much much better than Bangladesh Cricket and stop wasting your time with us. We have no interest in interfering with Pakistan business. We're the only nation that considered a tour but still angry over it.

  • Naveed on January 15, 2013, 22:30 GMT

    Well done pcb. No need to be nice anymore.

  • Smith on January 15, 2013, 22:22 GMT

    I'm not a fan of Kamal but I just would like to say thanks for tricking them :)

  • Arnold on January 15, 2013, 21:56 GMT

    As a person living in Bangladesh for the last 15 years I can say with no reservations that the whole blame is squarely on the previous BCB chairman and the current ICC Vice-Chairman Mostofa Kamal. He is the one who signed the deal with the PCB about Bangladesh touring Pakistan and defaulting on it. Likewise, the PCB chairman has retaliated in response to BCB's inability to live up to the deal.

  • Arslan on January 15, 2013, 21:53 GMT

    For all the people who are against PCB need to understand this. Pakistani players came to Bangladesh for BPL season when some other nations declined to participate. Pakistan has helped Bangladesh cricket a lot over the years. Pakistan and it's people have always prayed for Bangladesh win when not playing against Pakistan. All PCB wanted from BCB was a straight up answer which your cricket board failed to provide. They kept saying we will tour, than when all is set and done, they start raising security concerns. (We know there are) but you can't keep backing away from your words. PCB asks BCB fro it's support simply because they feel they have earned that much. Rite now it's like BCB is playing games and there still is no answer to the tour. Give a god damn straight up answer and stop playing games BCB. are you coming or not?

  • asad on January 15, 2013, 21:50 GMT

    @rase-drubo UAE and AFG players are far better than BDS Players. They are far better than your Fast Bowlers (with speed of 120KPH) and your Batsmans (averaging below 20 except Shakib). LoL.. BDS doesn't even deserve to play International Cricket, They should be with Associate Countries.

  • No featured comments at the moment.