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BPL teams to have a maximum of four overseas players in 2018

The 2017 edition of the tournament allowed team to play five overseas players in their XI, but the next edition will go back to the original rule

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Kumar Sangakkara and Kieron pollard have a chat in between overs  •  BCB

Kumar Sangakkara and Kieron pollard have a chat in between overs  •  BCB

The Bangladesh Premier League will go back to having a maximum of four overseas players in a playing XI for the 2018 edition, down from the five in 2017. Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has also ratified the BPL governing council's decision that each franchise can retain up to four (overseas and/or local) players from their 2017 roster.
Having a maximum of four overseas players per playing XI was the rule in the 2015 and 2016 editions, while the 2012, 2013 and 2017 BPL allowed five. Questions were raised about it last year, with some franchises not supporting the governing council's decision.
"We decided that any franchise can retain four players, be it local or foreign," BCB president Nazmul Hassan said. "Basically, it can be any combination of local or foreign players, but a maximum of four. We have also decided that only four foreign players can play at a time in a match in the next edition."
The decision around player retention is also a hot topic among franchise owners and officials, although the BCB clarifying it five months ahead of the tournament may make squad-building easier for them. However, Hassan didn't clarify whether the rest of the squads will be picked from an auction or a draft, or if the franchises have a free reign to contract the players outside of those processes.
Meanwhile, the 2018 BPL is likely to begin from either October 1 or 5, and the final is slated for mid-November so that the tournament doesn't clash with general elections in the country.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84