All you need to know about the new-look BPL's player draft
Suspended UAE players Mohammad Naveed and Shaiman Anwar are a part of the draft pool
The seven new BPL teams will be looking to fill their squads at the pre-tournament draft, to be held in Dhaka on Sunday. Here's all you need to know about the player draft, that includes 439 overseas and 181 local cricketers.
The ownership revamp
Unlike the previous editions, the BPL teams are fully owned now by the BCB, which has invited sponsors to finance some of the teams. Dhaka Platoon, Khulna Tigers, Rajshahi Royals, Sylhet Thunder and Chattogram Challengers have sponsors, while two others - Cumilla Warriors and Rangpur Rangers - will be run by the BCB.
According to tournament rules, BCB directors Khaled Mahmud, Akram Khan, Jalal Yunus, Tanjil Chowdhury and Golam Mortuza will be part of different teams, although their function has not been made clear.
Overseas stars in the mix
Shahid Afridi, Thisara Perera, Dwayne Smith, Mohammad Nabi, Shoaib Malik, Chris Gayle, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Hasan Ali, Rilee Rossouw, Darren Bravo and Dane Vilas have been placed in the A-plus category.
Many of these players, particularly the ones from West Indies, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, have a busy schedule, and therefore may not be available for the duration of the tournament.
The Indian presence
Interestingly, the draft includes Manvinder Bisla, Manpreet Gony and Kumar Boresa - three Indian cricketers - which is a first for the BPL. A couple of weeks ago, BCB president Nazmul Hassan had said that they were in talks with BCCI to get players for the BPL.
Suspended UAE players in the list too
Mohammad Naveed and Shaiman Anwar, the senior UAE players who were suspended in October for multiple breaches of the ICC's anti-corruption rules, are a part of the draft too. The two, along with Qadeer Ahmed, were charged with trying to corrupt games at the men's T20 World Cup qualifiers, which took place in the UAE soon after the trio were pulled up.
How much do the local heroes stand to earn?
The domestic players in the A-plus category, which has Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah and Mashrafe Mortaza, will fetch around US$ 59,000, much less than the foreigners in the same category. Rubel Hossain, last BPL's joint-highest wicket-taker, and Sabbir Rahman, a regular in the Bangladesh T20I side until September, have been put in Category B, which will earn them US$ 21,225.
Emphasis on fast bowlers
The new teams were sent the player draft list on Saturday, giving them less than 24 hours to put plans in place to fill their rosters. ESPNcricinfo has seen the draft list, which had a list of fast bowlers with their bowling speeds mentioned in some cases. Earlier, the BCB had said that each of the seven teams must have an overseas quick bowler who bowls above 140kph and a legspinner. Interestingly,Mohammad Sami, the 38-year-old former Pakistan fast bowler, has been mentioned at 164 kph.
It was also learned that the BCB has asked the new teams to pick fast bowlers and legspinners in their playing XIs on most occasions, without specifying more. Among these specially mentioned fast bowlers, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Kemar Roach and Oshane Thomas have been placed in Category A, where they will be paid US$ 70,000.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84