The fourth season of the Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 will feature seven teams after the BPL governing council declared new franchises for Khulna and Rajshahi.
BPL GC chairman Afzalur Rahman Sinha declared the two new teams in a press conference on Wednesday.
The BPL GC chief informed that the Khulna franchise were awarded to Gemcon Group while Rajshahi went to Mango Entertainment. The money-spinning T20 tournament will begin on November 4 with the grand finale set for either December 7 or 8.
“We have included two new teams – Khulna and Rajshahi. There were many others who had shown interest for buying a franchise but we have a tight national calendar ahead. The Bangladesh team will have a camp in Australia before they tour New Zealand in December so we cannot include more teams in the BPL as it will only extend the fixture,” said Sinha following a BPL GC meeting.
Khulna were previously owned by Orion Group while Rajshahi belonged to Digital Auto Care.
Meanwhile, Sylhet Superstars, owned by Alif Group, have been scratched as a franchise. According to BPL GC member secretary Ismail Haider Mallick, the franchise had breached discipline and were irregular with payment.
“At the moment, none of the franchises owe us money. Everyone has cleared their dues. We had to remove the Sylhet franchise due to disciplinary issues and they had owed the BCB money, which was realised through their bank guarantee,” Mallick explained.
The players' draft for the upcoming BPL will be held on September 30. The BPL GC has decided to allow each of the franchises to retain two local players from the last season.
In that case, it is understood that the two new franchises – Khulna and Rajshahi – will be given advantage to choose the local players before the draft.
However, a final decision is yet to be made by the BPL GC on this issue. A detailed outline on the players' draft will be announced in a day or two.
On the other hand, the broadcasting rights were retained by Channel 9 but only for this season. Channel 9 was the broadcaster of the previous three seasons.
“Channel 9 will broadcast the tournament but for this year only. We will float tender following the 2016 season and award broadcasting rights to the rightful one for three years,” said Mallick.