There was a time when Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) officials used to claim that the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) was the second-best T20 cricket league in the world. According to them, the BPL was positioned right after the Indian Premier League (IPL). But now, they say, they are working to make the BPL "one of the best leagues" in the country.
The next season of the BPL is slated to be played from early January to mid-February, 2023. BCB has already drafted the names of the owners of the seven participating franchises. If all goes well, the franchises will be finalized soon after the prospective owners pay the bank guarantee of BDT 100 million.
At least two other leagues are scheduled to be played at the same time as the BPL. As a result, the BPL may not be able to attract the attention of the best foreign players. Many have already signed contracts with teams in the other two leagues, one of which will be held in the United Arab Emirates and the other in South Africa.
Ismail Haider Mallick, member secretary of the BPL governing council, today said, "BPL was a good T20 event when there were not many leagues like it."
"Now too many leagues are there – CPL is happening, PSL is here, UAE is going to host a league and South Africa is also on the scene. Now, it’s tough to compare (BPL) with other (international) leagues. We want to make it one of the best domestic leagues. "
The first edition of the BPL was played in 2012. Four years after that, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) started the Pakistan Super League (PSL). While BPL is still trying to establish its brand, PSL is generating a lot of money for PCB.
"It costs a lot to host an event like BPL," Ismail added. "To make it bigger, we have to sell the ownership of a franchise for a lot of money. But the reality is, we cannot even host it as a home-and-away event. We don’t have enough venues for it. What we are looking forward to is making it one of our best domestic events. "
Since BPL may fail to attract the attention of foreign players this season, BCB is going to relax conditions. Ismail said a franchise will be able to sign a foreign player at any point of the tournament, and they will also be able to sign a foreign player for any period of time.
It means if a franchise gets a player for only two matches, they are allowed to sign the player. At the same time, Ismail said, a franchise can play two foreign players in a match instead of four.
BCB has already fixed the remuneration of the players. According to BCB, the local players in the A category will get BDT 8 million, while the players in the lowest category will generate half a million taka.
Every team is allowed to sign one local player directly out of the draft, but there is no limit to signing a foreign player. The BCB will not decide how much money a team will pay to recruit a foreign cricketer outside the draft.