The resumption of the Dhaka Premier League (DPL) has been delayed by three weeks, and is now scheduled to begin on May 31. As reported by ESPNcricinfo earlier, the competition will now be played out in the T20 format instead of being a one-day tournament, because of the time constraints caused by the postponement, forced because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kazi Inam Ahmed, chairman of the Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis (CCDM), the tournament organisers, said that the competition would be conducted with pandemic health protocols in place, similar to those used at earlier domestic tournaments in Bangladesh. "As decided earlier, it will be a T20 event. Considering the busy international schedule and the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup, we believe that T20 is the ideal format for the 2019-20 League," he said. "The BCB president (Nazmul Hassan) has given a clear direction on the importance of players' safety during these times.
"The board has successfully completed two tournaments this season and has hosted the West Indies in Bangladesh. We will draw from these learnings and make plans for the Bangabandhu DPL accordingly. We know what this league means to the players and clubs and appreciate their support during the planning stage."
The DPL was initially slated for a May 6 resumption, but Bangladesh is in the middle of a fresh Covid-19 wave, as a result of which the country has been in lockdown since April 5. For now, the lockdown has been extended to May 5, and includes a complete shutdown of public transport, offices and shops.
As such, this is the continuation of the 2019-20 edition of the DPL, which had to be called off because of the pandemic after six matches, failing to continue beyond March 19 as the country went into lockdown. As reported earlier, the results of the matches held last year during the regular season would now be scrapped, although the 12 clubs are going to have the same squads.
In a separate development, the BCB has also announced its intention to distribute BDT 2 crore (US$ 235,800 approx.) among all its male and female league cricketers. "The board's initiative, covering 1432 men and 288 women players, was taken at the advice of BCB president Nazmul Hassan, as a token of support to cricketers affected by the disruption to domestic competitions due to the Covid-19 pandemic," a press statement said.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84