Bangladesh's critical Covid-19 pandemic situation has forced the BCB into postponing the 2020-21 season of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) to next year. According to BCB president Nazmul Hassan, the board's primary difficulty in organising the tournament this year lay in hosting overseas players and broadcast personnel in an environment that is currently deemed unsafe. This week the board took ginger steps into resuming competitive cricket in the country with a three-team 50-over tournament, which is being held inside a bio-bubble entirely.
The BCB plans to orgainse a separate - possibly five-team - T20 tournament in mid-November, and has proposed that they finish the remainder of the 2019-20 Dhaka Premier League (DPL) later in the year. The 2020-21 BPL is next on their agenda and while it was always going to be held in the latter part of the season (March or April), the longevity of the pandemic could alter those plans too.
Hassan, who ruled out hosting the BPL outside Bangladesh due to high costs, said that the board might feel confident of hosting a substantial band of foreigners once the pandemic situation improves in the country.
"Everything depends on the conditions and circumstances but we are not holding the BPL this year," Hassan said. "We are looking at next year, but we also don't want to give up on any tournaments. With BPL comes the need for foreign players and production people [to travel to Bangladesh]. I don't know if we can handle so many people in a tournament as large as the BPL."
Hassan also said that during the BCB's discussions around the T20 tournament in November, there was a strong argument in favour of not allowing overseas cricketers.
"We're discussing [the involvement] of foreign players and no final decision has been taken," he said. "If we can bring foreign players then it's good but it's not like we must bring them. Our first priority is to create opportunity for local players to play.
"We're looking to see which foreign players are available and what their quality would be. It could be that a local player might be better than a foreign player. We don't want to keep our local players out and play foreign stars. We have to first understand the standard of [foreign] players who might be coming."
Hassan also hinted at the possibility of having the 2019-20 DPL completed this year.
"Our main problem is to create a perfect bio-bubble, but it will be tough on the clubs to ensure this," he said. "They are unlikely to put them up in expensive hotels. BKSP (the sports institute based outside Dhaka) is a very good option but we must find out if they have space for so many players. They have three proper grounds and we usually need three grounds to hold the DPL. If we can do this three-team one-day series and the T20 tournament next month, I don't want to delay the DPL."