There was little excitement in the cricketing community yesterday, as it was business as usual for players and organisers on the eve of the 10th season of the Bangladesh Premier League.
Even a day before the start of the country’s first franchise-based tournament, the mood remained impalpable, with the BPL Governing Council holding its normal press conference, addressing questions about the limits that allow the tournament to be held at a smaller scale.
The BPL Governing Council’s press conference was relocated from the usual press conference room to the area in front of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) buildings, maybe demonstrating how rapidly things change in the BPL.
Durdanto Dhaka, which was not initially one of the seven teams that filed an EOI (Expression of Interest) in 2022 for three years, has already arrived, making it a seven-team battle this time.
Even the tentativeness of designating captains has been highlighted, with most franchises only confirming their captains at the last minute.
Sustainability and prioritisation of national team assignments were discussed during the BPL Governing Council’s press conference, with member secretary IH Mollick stating that the BCB’s stance on not following the revenue-sharing model for the tournament may change if the franchise fee is increased tenfold from the current amount of one and half crore taka per year.
“Whether we will opt for income sharing is up to the BCB, and the board provides us with guidelines, which we follow while conducting the event. Our first two years were not very enjoyable.
“If the franchise fee was 15 crores [per year], then the board would not have had a problem with revenue sharing,” Mollick said of the revenue-sharing scheme, which was revealed by Comilla Victorians owner Nafisa Kamal before to the start of the competition.
Mollick also said that they “have to keep in mind the financial and economic condition” and administer the BPL according to the “country’s style,” implying that they must adhere to the present model that is viable in Bangladesh’s setting.
According to Mollick, the BPL, which began more than a decade ago in 2012, has yet to see the deployment of worldwide standards.
While the organisers were still debating a solid tournament strategy, the competition began today with reigning champions Comilla Victorians facing Dhaka in the opening match, followed by Sylhet Strikers against Chattogram Challengers in the evening.
Comilla has a star-studded lineup, however players may leave early owing to other competitions.
Comilla’s captain, Liton Das, expressed no anxiety about the availability of international players for the opening encounter.
It is anticipated that once the competition starts, cricket will grab the spotlight. Wickets will also help to create enthusiasm, but the primary goal is to prepare the national team for the next T20 World Cup in June.
There are certain pros, such as the Decision Review System (DRS) being accessible from the start of the competition, and the commentary team having star value.