aBCB director Mohammed Jalal Yunus speaks to the media on Monday. -Collected
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is still optimistic about holding the prestigious Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 to mark the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's birth centenary despite its doubtful future.
The board has shelved the seventh edition of the BPL, country's lone franchise based tournament, which was scheduled to start in December this year and announced that they would not involve any franchisees. The cricket apex body decided to hold a special BPL to mark the 100th birth anniversary of Bangabandhu.
None of the six existing franchisees have dropped EOI (Expression of Interest) to participate in the 'special edition' of the BPL T20 as 'team sponsors', said Bangladesh Cricket Board. The BCB however had decided to bring in 'sponsors' for the team and that the board would single-handedly manage the tournament and guide the teams.
EOI for a Team Sponsor was floated on September 17 with a deadline of September 22. There was high-scale speculation that some of the existing franchises would participate in the tournament by applying for the team sponsorship rights but it seemed that was not the case.
Meanwhile, BCB is yet to set a new by-laws for the lone edition of the Bangabandhu BPL and they have a lot of work to do that includes finishing off the draft by this month while finalizing the bylaws and the playing condition as well.
Despite all these uncertainty, BPL technical committee chairman Jalal Yunus said he is optimistic to hold the special BPL on time. "We have strong intention to start the special BPL on December 6. The BCB is already working with ambition to meet the schedule.
The CEO [Nizamuddin Chowdhury] and different managers of the board have been involved to prepare the structure to execute the tournament. They are at the moment doing the homework. Soon the plans will be set and we will sit with the companies that have shown interest to be team sponsors," Yunus said on Monday.
Yunus said that BCB president Nazmul Hasan has taken the charge of organizing this special BPL. "President has taken the charge to organize and decide on the tournament this year. He will organize the tournament along with the BPL Governing Council."
"Once the paper works are done, we can come to the execution of the tournament. The board President is well informed on the progress. Most possibly within a week we can come to decisions," the BCB director explained.
The BCB is considering offering the overseas cricketers that had signed directly with the 'franchises', to participate in the special edition of BPL. Yunus also informed that the tournament format is being kept the same as the previous editions. The seventh edition of the BPL T20 is scheduled to begin on December 6 this year.
"The format will be similar to those we have seen in the last few editions of the tournament. Four overseas players will be allowed to field. There a few overseas cricketers that were signed with the franchisees and we can offer them to play this edition of the tournament if they are free," Yunus concluded.
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