In the battle to sign international T20 stars for the January-February window, the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) is lagging behind its contender leagues. The BPL has a window from January 6 to February 15, which conflicts with the Australian BBL, the UAE’s ILT20, and South Africa’s yet-to-be-named T20 league. The BBL’s international player draught is set on August 28. Because of the high-profile players, the franchises are bringing on, the UAE and South Africa leagues have been in the news almost every day. The BPL hasn’t generated any buzz.
The BCB has set a deadline of August 31 for “expressions of interest” from prospective franchise owners (EOI). The BCB’s chief executive, Nizamuddin Chowdhury, had stated that the BPL will provide three-year contracts to the majority of the former franchise owners in exchange for their return. Before, the franchise agreements were only valid for a single year.
“We will try to finalize everything soon so that the owners can start their preparation,” Chowdhury had said. “They will be in a better position since it is for three years. Franchise owners usually want everything to be organized, so this time it will be quite good since we are giving the teams a longer period.”
The BCB is also hopeful that there would be some notable international players in the BPL, even though all Bangladeshi cricketers are expected to play. He said, “We have to keep in mind that the member countries are looking for a window to hold domestic T20 leagues. There’s going to be conflict (in scheduling) if other members’ windows fall at the same time. Everyone is going to suffer, not just us. Two or three of our most important players will be playing in our domestic league. I don’t want to mention any names but those who usually play overseas will be missed in those leagues. But we are expecting foreign players to play in our league.”
Dwayne Bravo and Andre Fletcher, respectively the second-highest wicket-taker and second-highest run-getter in the most recent BPL, are among the players signed for the ILT20. The core members of the Comilla Victorians team that last won the championship, Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, and Sunil Narine, are all unavailable.
Du Plessis will play for the CSK-owned team in South Africa, and Moeen and Narine have been named for the ILT20. The ILT20 has also signed Andre Russell, a former Minister Group Dhaka player, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, a former Fortune Barishal player, who will play in South Africa.