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What does the future hold for franchise-based BPL?

  • Published at 10:56 pm September 12th, 2019
BPL

when the seventh edition of the BPL is knocking at the door, the BCB has removed the franchises from the forthcoming edition, and declared that they would run the tournament on their own, vowing to fix some “issues and laws” before allowing the franchises to take part from next year.

Bangladesh’s Cricket Board’s decision to omit franchises in the next edition – seventh - of the Bangladesh Premier League T20, has raised eyebrows and created confusion with regards to the future participation of the franchises in the money-spinning tournament.

Just a few months ago, the BPL was termed as one of the best franchise-based tournaments, and only behind IPL considering popularity, as quoted by one of the top officials and board of directors of BCB earlier this year.

But just after a few months, when the seventh edition of the BPL is knocking at the door, the BCB has removed the franchises from the forthcoming edition, and declared that they would run the tournament on their own, vowing to fix some “issues and laws” before allowing the franchises to take part from next year.

The scenario had changed when Rangpur Riders announced and unveiled all-rounder Shakib al Hasan as their new signing for BPL 7. 

Shakib was the captain of Dhaka Dynamites in the last three seasons and his decision to change franchises came as a surprise. 

It was also learnt that Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim were also on the verge of changing franchises for the upcoming BPL. 

Tamim and Mushfiq were the icon players for Comilla Victorians and Chittagong Vikings respectively in BPL 6.

Just four days after the Riders’ unveiling of Shakib, the BPL governing council announced that the four-year circle with the franchises has ended and for the next edition, BPL 7, a new deal will be signed with the teams.

And thus, all the “pre-signings” or negotiations made by a few franchises have become ineffective.   

BCB GC met with all the franchises separately a few weeks ago and discussed about several matters in order to resolve the issues. 

According to a source, a few demands from the franchises were sharing revenue and a few issues related to player retention and signing.  

The BCB boss Nazmul Hasan commented Wednesday that the franchisees have some demands, which is not possible for BCB to fulfill at the moment.

He also said there are some loopholes regarding players’ transfer and retention, which they want to sort out before involving the franchises in the tournament.

And so, after just a few months of terming the tournament as “one of the best in the world”, the decision came to omit the franchises who obviously helped and invested a lot over the years to make the tournament renowned and successful.

The BCB GC informed that they would resolve the issues soon, and will sign a fresh cycle of contracts with the franchises. 

But the reality is, the BCB supremo declared that the demands made by the franchises are “not acceptable” and hence, they are not considering franchises for the next edition.   

The BCB announced of running the tournament in the name of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and said it would start the tournament as per schedule.

Cricket’s governing body in the country also announced that they will manage all the teams and pay the payments of the players. 

The BCB is also planning to get sponsors for each team. 

But that will be quite challenging as seven sponsors for seven teams can be a difficult task for BCB to carry out within such a short period of time.

Such a decision came as a shock as it raised quite a few questions about the future of the tournament regarding involvement of the franchises. 

For the franchises, actually for most of them, this decision came as a real surprise.

The BCB announced that the decision of omitting the franchises is for next edition only. 

The BCB clearly informed that it will not share the revenue, which was one of the demands of the franchises when they met with the BPL GC in August this year.

They will set a new set of rules regarding player transfer and other important issues and upon obliging them properly, franchisees may take part from next year.

But even then, removing franchisees from one edition will create some confusion all around. 

Many franchises have run their team in the last three-four years putting a lot of efforts and heavy investment.

These franchises have created a brand, not only in Bangladesh but also worldwide.

The BPL has gained a good reputation all over the world in the last few years, and over time, many high-profile players have taken part in the tournament and praised the level of competition here. 

Removing franchises doesn’t seem to be a solution and let’s hope the BCB and all the concerned parties will solve it soon for the betterment of Bangladesh cricket.