The Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), the country’s most lucrative domestic cricket event, will not be held in 2021.
A spokesperson for the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) confirmed this to the media on Saturday.
The last edition of BPL, for the year 2019, concluded in January 2020. The 2020 edition was supposed to take place last December, but it had to be cancelled amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
"We only have two windows – November and December this year – to host BPL. But the Bangladesh national team is scheduled to play international cricket at the same time. So I think there will be no BPL before January 2022," Ismail Haider Mallick, a BCB director and member secretary of the BPL governing council, said.
As per the ICC Future Tours Programme, Bangladesh will take on Pakistan in November this year and New Zealand in December.
While Pakistan is slated to visit Bangladesh in November, Bangladesh will go to New Zealand in December – their second tour to the island country this year – although this time for a Test series.
"We have finalised a domestic cricket calendar for the next five years. Bangladesh will have to play a lot of cricket during this time. So, many national players will not be available for domestic events. But we want them in BPL at least. So we are planning to host the tournament in line with that," added Mallick.
Meanwhile, the BCB is working hard to resume domestic cricket from March 22 with the National Cricket League (NCL), the most prestigious first-class cricket event in the country.
Minhajul Abedin, the chief selector of BCB, recently said they had finalised the squads for eight divisional teams who are all set to start preparations ahead of the NCL.
The BCB is trying to inoculate as many as cricketers possible before domestic cricket resumes. However, the Health Ministry is yet to finalise how many cricketers can be vaccinated before the league begins.
All the cricketing activities were on put on hold after March 16 last year due to Covid-19.
However, the BCB hosted two domestic cricket events— BCB President’s Cup and Bangabandhu T20 League – during November- December last year.
But these events were only open for the national players, U-19 players and some of the players from the BCB's high-performance unit.