Rajshahi, Khulna return to BPL with new owners

The last time Rajshahi played in the BPL was in 2013 when they were known as Duronto Rajshahi BCB

The BCB announced on Wednesday that the Rajshahi and Khulna franchises for the next four seasons of the Bangladesh Premier League have been bought by Mango Entertainment and Gemcon Group respectively. Rajshahi and Khulna make a return after missing the 2015 tournament, but with the Sylhet franchise having been taken off, the tournament will now have seven teams.

"We have added Rajshahi and Khulna," BPL's member-secretary Ismail Haider Mallick said. "There were others who had voiced their interest, but they have been taken by Mango Entertainment and Gemcon Group respectively."

Mallick said that all the teams have cleared payment to the BCB, including Sylhet, whose bank guarantee was used by the board. Mallick said that Sylhet were taken off the tournament due to disciplinary reasons, though the board had earlier said it was because of their non-payment. "Sylhet are not taking part due to disciplinary reasons. We had showcaused them for an incident from the 2015 tournament," he said.

The 2016 edition will start on November 4, with the final scheduled to be played on either December 7 or 8. The player draft will take place on September 30, at 3.00pm. Mallick said that the local players' payment could be "revised" in this year's draft, but they are yet to decide on how many players an old franchise can retain from the previous edition.