A total of 38 foreign players have been bought by the Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 franchises ahead of the players' draft, scheduled to be held on Friday. The most eye-catching purchase was perhaps that of West Indies big-hitter Chris Gayle, who will feature for Chittagong Vikings in the fourth edition of the money-spinning tournament.
Gayle was signed for five matches and the left-hander will be available for the latter stages of the tournament that gets underway on November 4. The Jamaican cricketer previously played for Barisal Bulls in the last edition.
Meanwhile, according to the member secretary of the BPL governing council, Ismail Haider Mallick, there will be no icon player in the upcoming edition as they have decided to change it into “A+” category where the players can choose their own team.
Shakib al Hasan will receive Tk55 lakhs, the highest among the seven A+ players, and turn out for Dhaka Dynamites.
Tamim Iqbal will once again play for Chittagong, Mushfiqur Rahim for Barisal and Mahmudullah for Khulna Titans while Mashrafe bin Mortaza was retained by defending champions Comilla Victorians. Each of these four A+ cricketers will pocket Tk50 lakhs.
Sabbir Rahman and Soumya Sarkar, the new A+ category players, will feature for Rajshahi and Rangpur Riders and get Tk40 lakhs each.
“The seven icons, who are the most senior players, came to us officially and asked us to let them choose their own team. In other countries, the local players get the same as foreign players. Thirty-eight foreign players have already been bought. And their pricing is very high. For example, Gayle, Andre Russell, Kumar Sangakkara and Imad Wasim; they are getting a lot more than the A+ players. So we adjusted accordingly,” Mallick told the media on Wednesday.
The “A” grade category players will receive Tk25 lakhs, “B” Tk18 lakhs, “C” Tk12 lakhs and “D” Tk five lakhs.
On the other hand, the BPL GC has decided that the franchises can retain two A category players from the previous season.
Dhaka retained Mosaddek Hossain and Nasir Hossain, Chittagong kept Taskin Ahmed and Anamul Haque, Rangpur retained Arafat Sunny and Mohammad Mithun, Comilla kept Imrul Kayes and Liton Kumar Das while Barisal retained Al Amin Hossain and Taijul Islam.
It was also decided that the foreign coaching staff of the Bangladesh team will not be able to be a part of any franchises. However, the local coaches can be a part of the teams, along with the national selectors, who were not allowed to take part in the previous edition.
Foreign players signed by franchises before draft
Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Shoaib Malik, Chaturanga de Silva and Mohammad Nabi
Sohail Tanvir, Imad Wasim, Ashar Zaidi, Nuwan Kulasekera and Thisara Perera
Kumar Sangakkara, Andre Russell, Mahela Jayawardene, Dwayne Bravo, Evin Lewis and Ravi Bopara
Nicholas Pooran, Riki Wessels, Kevon Cooper, Mohammad Asghar and Benny Howell
Darren Sammy and Mohammad Sami
Shahid Afridi, Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Mohammad Shahzad, Dasun Shanaka, Gidron Pope and Richard Gleeson
Local players retained by franchises before draft
Mosaddek Hossain and Nasir Hossain
Taskin Ahmed and Anamul Haque Bijoy
Arafat Sunny and Mohammad Mithun
Imrul Kayes and Liton Kumar Das
Al Amin Hossain and Taijul Islam