Bangladesh Premier League news October 12, 2012

Mistakes of inaugural BPL prompt more 'realistic' follow-up

In a bid to get things right the second time round, the Bangladesh Premier League has adopted a more practical approach in the lead-up to the 2013 tournament

The controversies that marred the first season of the Bangladesh Premier League have forced the tournament to take on a more streamlined form in its second edition, as organisers look to right the wrongs. The league's chairman, Gazi Ashraf Hossain, calls the 2012-13 edition a "more realistic" tournament than the previous one and he has assured financial security for the players. A meeting on October 10 produced sweeping changes, including toned down players' pay packages at all levels and doing away with the icon player obligations of the franchises.

"It will be a more realistic tournament, catering to the call of the hour," Ashraf told ESPNcricinfo. "I am speaking about all our stakeholders. I don't want players to come here and experience the BPL for just a couple of years. We have the long-term in mind."

That long-term view has meant a drastic change in the players' retainers, after the organisers faced tough questions from players' associations regarding completion of payments. A team's highest paid player will this season receive no more than $150,000, replacing the structure from the first edition which had top players Shahid Afridi and Chris Gayle being auctioned at $700,000 and $551,000 respectively. The icon players were supposed to get 5% more than the highest paid player in their particular teams, but the franchises had never taken to the concept. Other foreign players stand to earn no more than $75,000 per season, while the other local players are set to earn between $10,000 and $50,000 - a more accurate reflection of their market value.

The players' auction will take place on December 7 and according to Ashraf, the teams will undergo a complete makeover. He is confident that despite the lower salary cap, the standard will not fall. "It will be a complete re-auction, 100%. We have had good response so far with some players from the IPL having already shown interest; their agents are getting in touch with us," he said.

"There won't be any icon players this season. The golden [top] category will not have too many players as we want to restrict it to eye-catching players who are of the highest caliber; of course, there can be local players in this category. The players are also our stakeholders and they will be totally secured. All bank guarantees will be taken, though I can't let out any more details on this at the moment."

The main obstacle the players have faced has been securing their payments from the first season. To ensure that all matters pertaining to payments are resolved at least three months prior to the next tournament begins, Ashraf says they have tentatively scheduled the franchise auction in November. This is a precautionary measure that he believes will force the existing franchises to act quickly on payments.

"We have asked the teams to send out all their due payments by October 20, if they don't meet the compliance standard, the franchise auction will be used to find a new franchise. Also, if the governing council feels it requires another team, the auction will be used," he said.

The organisers are also working towards drawing in a wider audience across Bangladesh by including Khulna as the third venue for the league and switching the venue in Chittagong from the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium to the centrally located MA Aziz Stadium.

"We will conduct an inspection of the MA Aziz Stadium, which will also host domestic matches this season," Ashraf said. "We are also keen to hold the warm-up matches at new venues.

"It will be a more organised tournament and despite the toned down measures, we also hope to earn revenue from the BPL, like we did last year. We also have the bank guarantee from Game On Sports [BPL's event management right-holders], so I am confident of financial success."

The BPL announced this week that the second edition will begin on January 17 but this scheduling would mean many of last season's top players would either be completely unavailable or available only for a few matches. Pakistan play in South Africa from January 25, while West Indies tour Australia from January 29. South Africa will also compete in a series against New Zealand till January 25. The Australian and Sri Lankan players will also be busy till January 28, so it is increasingly likely that the tournament will be a magnet for journeymen Twenty20 specialists.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Bangladesh

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on October 15, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    This might be a very unpopular season this time as most of the teams which were more likely to send their players in this season might not be able to send the players as they have international matches so the BPL season 2 should find a better date to get more players and it obviously means 'better players' for this season.

    Leaving that point, now it looks to be a well organised tournament but still needs some kind of 'fuel in the fire' to have a rocking tournament!

  • Dummy4 on October 14, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    Hamid Hassan was chosen in BPL last time but injury had a burden on him. Hopefully we get to see Afghan players like Nabi and Zadari in BPL to play their Cricket and use the experience for Afghanistan Cricket. Hopefully sometime before the next World T20 held in Bangladesh, Bangladesh will invite and play Afghanistan in ODI and T20 matches. Bangladesh unlike 'some' are known well to play associate nations.

  • Ashraful on October 14, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    I think organizing BPL in January will not only give a good opportunity for journeyman t20 specialists but also for local players and some associated country players. Bcoz if the big names will b partially available 4 the tournament, The teams will dpnd somewhat on the local players and other associated players............... I would really love 2 see Mohammad Nabi from Afghanistan in this tournament....... He will b great 4 the t20 4mat.............

  • srahman on October 13, 2012, 18:12 GMT

    why Bcb arangged BPL2 IN january when lots ot team busy 2 play their national match?

  • Omair on October 13, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    @ AzAb12754, I thought Bangladesh already had enough experience to start winning. The country team has played almost half as many ODIs as England and hasn't yet started winning. The team has played 73 tests already (only managing to draw 7 of them against stronger opposition). How much more experience is needed????

  • Dummy4 on October 13, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    Bpl was fantastic for Bangladesh cricket..coming out of it they came runners up in the Asia cup..already player like Nasser hossain are emerging showing that its not a fluke that we can create a tamim Iqbal and shakib al hasan..more is yet to come we must be patient and keep supporting these emerging stars !

  • Jay on October 13, 2012, 13:04 GMT

    @Smith Robertson: Couldn't have said it better myself. However, there are a lot of WHINERS here on Cricinfo who think the IPL is bad for Indian and international cricket while at the same time these very same people are all-praising towards leagues like the BPL, BBL, SLPL etc that are nothing more than mere copies of the IPL. Why the double standards ? The IPL should be supported and embraced just like these leagues. I hope the BPL has a wonderful future and we can get to see a better structured CLT20 next year. God bless.

  • Smith on October 13, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    Some people said there won't be a second edition of BPL but now they're wrong so please get simple things some people but yeah it was quite obvious the first edition was rushed. Bangladesh Cricket needs to reach to new levels and the more we play whatever the form the more you will learn and gain. Don't forget the average age of this senior Bangladesh side as a whole almost comes to around in all forms is 23 compared to other teams for example Pakistan 32, India 28, Australia 27, England 26, Sri Lanka 29, West Indies 27, Zimbabwe 25 with Bangladesh oldest player is Abdur Razzaq who has just turned 30 would you believe. Therefore Bangladesh just need more experience and they will improve a lot.

  • Smith on October 13, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    @Smith Robertson: Great comment mate Cricket has a very bright future in all but one country. It will be great to see more players from Ireland, Afghanistan etc playing in BBL, BPL so on so they can expand their Cricket to all directions.

  • just on October 13, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    This is a big opportunity for Bangla to groom its youngsters and to find new talent. I hope that a team from BPL will also play in CL-t 20 next edition as there is no more any county side. Last year edition had shown some positives for Bangla Players initially to handle pressure which v all witnessed in Asia Cup(and don't forget that sum of the Pak players got selected due to their BPL performances). Wish this tournament a success for Bangla cricket future. A fan of Dhaka (From Pakistan)

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