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Dhaka Tribune

BPL marred with myriad of controversies again

Dhaka Tribune looks into some such matters that had caught special attentions

Update : 15 Feb 2022, 05:07 PM

The ongoing edition of the Bangladesh Premier League T20 has once again marred with many controversies as the tournament progressed with them hand-in-hand. Claimed as the second best T20 League of the world by influential of the Bangladesh Cricket Board [BCB], there has not been a single season from the eight editions held so far where the tournament could be said being ended with tinge of controversy and often the media as well as the spectators were more busy with those unwanted issues over the quality of cricket. 

With the 2022 BPL T20 set to step into the business end from Monday, Dhaka Tribune looks into some such matters that had caught special attentions.

 The Dhaka franchise trouble

Days before the Players’ Draft of the tournament this year, the BCB had declared the six business houses that were to participate as six teams in the competition. Rupa and Marn group was initially in line to own the Dhaka franchise. BCB however, removed the party saying they were unable to complete the financial formalities but there was another story untold. The media had already reported of a corrupt approach to a player ahead of the ongoing season but it missed out on missing the link that the approach had come from an individual from the group that was to take the Dhaka team but being removed. There was effort by the BCB to find a new probable owner for the Dhaka team, even on the night before the players’ draft. But as it had not been able to manage one, the BCB finally had to take charge of the team and later find sponsors to cover part of the expense to run the team.

 Miraz v Chattogram Challengers

The Chattogram phase of the tournament was rocked with Mehedi Hasan Miraz going rouge on his team Chattogram Challengers. The national cricketer as a reason for his protest said he did not like the team management’s decision of removing him from the captaincy role just a few hours ahead of a game – against Sylhet Sunrisers. Miraz fired the blame to Challengers’ chief operating officer Syed Yasir Alam and had even walked out of the team hotel in the port city. The matter was solved by the team internally but it had already made many in the cricketing fraternity, including the BCB Anti-Corruption Unit raise their eyebrows. There was wide discussion whether the Chattogram Challengers management and its COO had any ill motive behind the incident.    

BPL Governing Council later held a hearing in Dhaka and it was said that the board has accepted the explanations provided by the franchise officials and Miraz but it could not remove the doubts in general – people are still widely speaking and discussing on the matter.

Not DRS but ADRS

BPL T20 this year had to be innovative, albeit in a bit uncouth fashion, when it came to providing decision review to teams and the match officials. The BPL GC could not involve DRS [Decision Review System] simply because the service provider was not available.  Due to the surge of Covid-19 cases worldwide none of the experts at Hawk-Eye - a company that offers DRS services - were ready to visit Bangladesh to provide the service during the tournament. As expected, the absence of the technology in the field triggered controversial decisions coming from the match officials particularly after the game between Minister Dhaka and Sylhet Sixers, held on January 25 at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. The Dhaka team dressing room was unhappy with at least three decisions from the on-field umpires and particularly the side’s overseas recruit Andre Russell was seen strongly disagreeing to umpire’s decision of given out. The Technical Committee of the BPL GC after discussing with the stakeholders introduced Alternative Decision Review System (ADRS) to assist in umpiring decisions from the first match of the Chattogram leg of the tournament. Each team has been able to take a maximum of two reviews but only to review LBW decisions.

 There has been no ball-tracking technology, the stumps on the pitch will create a straight 'shaded area' to see where the ball has pitched and where the impact was. In the pre-DRS era, it was shown in TV productions for the convenience of commentators.

       

Shehzad smoking on the field

Minister Group Dhaka’s overseas batter Mohammad Shahzad was part of controversy after spotted smoking an e-cigarette at SBNS. Their game against Comilla Victorians on a Friday evening got abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain and wet outfield. The cricketers were seen chatting with each other on the field and so was Shehzad with his fellow Afghanistan cricketers. The right-handed batsman however caught attention of the camera lenses as he smoked the cigarette and make headlines around the world. The BCB later reprimanded the player as his action was found to breach of Article 2.20 of the BCB code of conduct, which pertains to "conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game", and hence a demerit point was added to his disciplinary record.

 

Suspicious Sylhet

Radars of the BCB Anti-Corruption Unit [ACU] has been heavily focused on Sulhet Sunrisers team this season. The side finished the tournament unhappy with just one win under the belt but more than that the discussion was on how some of their players acted on the field. It was triggered with pace bowler Taskin Ahmed after he stated that he won’t take part in the competition if his payment was not cleared. The cricketer, signed directly by the team ahead of the draft, later admitted that it was a misunderstanding from his side.

Then there was controversial change in captaincy just a few minutes before their game against Khulna Tigers in the Sylhet phase. The team management replaced Mossadek Hossain by Ravi Bopara to take charge of the team. After getting the responsibility, in the very first game Bopara got penalized for ball-tampering that helped the opponents earn five extra runs and his decision to not use left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam Apu in the game had also raised eyebrows. There is a wide discussion in the fraternity that a syndicate of cricketers of the team is under the radar of not only the BCB ACU but also of the International Cricket Council.


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