After a gap of more than two years, the third edition of the Bangladesh Premier League will begin on November 24. It will be a six-team competition with three new franchise owners set to take part.
The Dhaka, Chittagong and Barisal teams will now be run by Beximco Group, DBL Group and Axiom Technologies respectively. There will not be a franchise for Rajshahi and Khulna this year.
The BCB have retained only three of the old franchise owners. The board had said they would only accept bids from those who had paid their dues from the 2013 edition, as well as the Tk 5.5 crore (approx USD 750,000) bank guarantee that had to be paid for the third edition. Only Alif Group, Royal Sports Limited and I Sports were able to do so.
Alif Group were previous owners of the Barisal franchise but this time they will own the Sylhet team and I Sports take control of Rangpur.
Royal Sports Limited picked Comilla, which is not a division yet, but BPL governing council's member secretary Haider Mallick reasoned that, "The government has made Mymensingh as a division recently and possibly Comilla is in line too. As a result, this year we have decided to go with City Corporations, and not divisions. It will be a 10-team competition in the future although there are 20 City Corporations. We are giving the team for four years and the contract can be renewed through discussions at the end of the term."
Mallick and BCB president Nazum Hasan are employees of Beximco, but Mallick said they will not be involved with the Dhaka franchise in any capacity. The BPL governing council has decided that none among them can own or advice a franchise but anyone outside the governing council can participate in a franchise.
"Nobody from the BPL governing council can be involved with the teams. They can't be an owner or even stay as an adviser. But board directors or anyone who is not in the governing council, they can participate with the team.
"I work in Beximco Pharma. The team was bought by Beximco Group. I am employed by Beximco, I am not an owner. I will not be involved with the team. The board president is also not an owner, he is an employee. He will also not be involved with this team. There will be no conflict of interest in this matter," Mallick said.