BPL auction shifted to December 20
The players' auction of the Bangladesh Premier League has been shifted to December 20 while the tournament's second edition is set to begin on January 18, with the opening ceremony to be held the previous day. It had been earlier announced that the auction would be held on December 9. But since that co-incided with the home series against West Indies, the date had to be shifted.
"We will hold the opening ceremony on January 17 and start the tournament on January 18," Ismail Haider Mallik, the new BPL secretary, said. "The players' auction will take place on December 20 while a new franchise will be finalised tomorrow. We will bring on board Rangpur as the seventh franchisee."
The announcement was made at a press conference; it was also an occasion to introduce the new faces in the BPL governing council. Afzalur Rahman Sinha is the new BPL chairman (replacing Gazi Ashraf Hossain) while Mallik has been made secretary (in place of Sirajuddin Mohammad Alamgir) after the previous directors' body of the BCB dissolved in late November and was replaced by an ad-hoc committee soon after, which included both Sinha and Mallik.
But the new BPL committee has had to tackle the same issues, chiefly pertaining to player payments as well as having a contract between the organisers and the six existing franchises."We will have the agreements with the franchises completed before December 20. There will be a few instructions regarding players' payment. For instance, 25% of the payment has to be made between the players' auction and the start of the tournament.
"Before the last match of the tournament, 25% should be paid and the rest of the money will be paid within six months of the end of the last match. These are just some of the technicalities that will be incorporated in the agreement," said Mallik.
The organisers, this time as well, have been defensive, taking the "too little time to prepare" line when it comes to solving disputes (like player payments, contract with franchises, etc) from the previous tournament. Sinha, the new chairman, believes that since the new governing council took over in late November, they haven't had enough time to sort out all the disputes.
"We have had very little time to solve the disputes. We are letting the ball roll as of now because we won't get any other free slot to host the tournament. We will definitely solve the disputes with the franchises but as of now the tournament has to go on.
"The disputes regarding the foreign players' payment have been solved, we have heard a few disputes with the local players but we have been in the BCB for only a few days. We will definitely solve it in the coming days. Ten to twelve days' time, that is not enough to host a league like the BPL."
Both Mallick and Sinha assured the payment will be made in time and that it will "go through the BCB" from the franchises this time. "The payment will be done through the BCB this time. Franchisees will pay us and we will pay the players.
"We have given the franchises a time to make all remaining payments to the local players and they have agreed. We are very hopeful that they'll give the entire payment," Sinha said.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent