A question mark hangs over axed Australia captain Steven Smith's participation in the 2019 Bangladesh Premier League, following a meeting on Tuesday that ended in a deadlock. Jalal Yunus, the BPL's technical committee chairman who held the meeting with BPL franchise representatives, said that he asked the BCB to take a final decision on whether Smith will be eligible for the T20 tournament that begins on January 5.
Smith had signed with Comilla Victorians in late November, as a replacement for Sri Lanka's Asela Gunaratne. This is where the issue stems from: replacement players are supposed to be chosen from among the players who were in the draft in the first place, and Smith was not part of the draft.
Yunus said that Comilla were allowed to contract Smith with a view to enhance the league's appeal, but the other franchises objected to this bending of the rules, putting his participation under a cloud.
"We had allowed Comilla to sign Steven Smith for the greater interest of the BPL," Yunus said. "The bylaws said that a replacement player has to come from the [players who were in the] draft and, after we allowed Comilla, the other franchises objected. Which is why we held the meeting today but, since we couldn't come to a conclusion, I have now referred it to the BCB."
Yunus didn't confirm by when the BCB is likely to take a decision.