Bangladesh news July 24, 2013

Dhaka Premier League postponed for fourth time

The start of the 2012-13 Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League has been deferred for the fourth time. The player transfers/recruitment programme, which was supposed to be held on Thursday, has also been delayed further, possibly till the end of August.

This time the reason for the delay is the Dhaka clubs' reluctance to take part in the recruitment programme before Eid-ul-Fitr, which is supposed to be held in the second week of August. Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis (CCDM) chairman Jalal Yunus however said that the commencement date of the Premier League will not be delayed by too long.

"The clubs have asked us to hold the recruitment programme after Eid," Yunus said. "They wouldn't be able to make payments during this time. But the league itself will only be delayed by three to four days because it will now most probably begin on September 2 instead of August 29.

"We hope to declare specific dates for the player recruitment programme and the start of the Premier Division Cricket League after the board meeting on July 29."

The players' representative body has criticised the BCB for this latest delay, though, saying the board hadn't considered the effect the decision would have on the players. Cricketers' Welfare Association Bangladesh general secretary Debabrata Paul said: "Many of the players are struggling to make ends meet ahead of the Eid holidays. The BCB and the clubs only considered their own interests, instead of the basic needs of the players. They could have held the players recruiting programme tomorrow (July 25)."

The BCB's ad-hoc committee had announced the new dates at its July 3 meeting, but the clubs continued to push the board to change dates. This has been the case since March this year when the league was originally scheduled to be held. Then, the clubs' objection was the ongoing Sri Lanka tour, which meant all national cricketers wouldn't be available to play.

Some of the clubs also complained about players asking for too much money, so the players' transfer system was changed, the new programme resembling the American draft system. The old system, which will return next season, had the players and clubs negotiate rather than go through a lottery.

The Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League is Bangladesh's top domestic one-day tournament, played between twelve Dhaka-based clubs. The board granted it List-A status this year, after the National Cricket League's one-day tournament fell through for the last three seasons.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here