Monday, 6 February, 2023

BPL starts today

The country’s lone franchise-based domestic T20 tournament – Bangladesh Premier League’s ninth edition will get underway at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.

Chattogram Challengers will take on newly-introduced Sylhet Strikers in the opening match while reigning champions Comilla Victorians will face 2017-edition champions Rangpur Riders in the second match of the day.

The first match will start at 02:30pm (BST) while the second game will begin at 07:15pm (BST) and Nagorik TV will telecast both games live.

The online marketplace Daraz Bangladesh will live stream all the BPL matches in their official mobile application for free.

Khulna Tigers, Dhaka Dominators and Fortune Barishal are the other three teams taking part in the competition.

Apart from Dhaka, the BPL matches will also be held in Chattogram and

Sylhet as well.The Chattogram phase matches will be played between January 13 to January 20 while the Sylhet phase matches will take place on January 27-31. Some matches will also be hosted in Mirpur in between the two phases.

The league matches will finish on February 10 while the eliminator and first qualifier will be played on February 12. The second qualifier will take place on February 14 while the final of the tournament will be held on February 16 in Mirpur. All the knockout matches have reserve days this year.

Bashundhara Group-owned Rangpur returned to the BPL after being out of the tournament in the previous two editions.

While Bashundhara made a comeback after neither Beximco Limited nor Gemcon Group, the two teams that featured regularly in the first cycle of the BPL, showed any interest to be part of the tournament.

The lack of interest from some other leading corporate houses was largely due to the fact the BPL lost its charm to some extent and it was exposed widely by none other than Shakib Al Hasan on Wednesday when he publicly raised fingers at the intention of the board to make it a successful T20 tournament.

The non-availability of the Decision Review System (DRS) in the tournament during the initial phase of the tournament turned out to be the talking point ahead of the competition.

BCB Chief Executive Officer Nizamuddin Chowdhury admitted that they have limitations as other franchise leagues’ stakes are much higher than it.

“We are trying to make it more attractive but you have to understand our limitations,” said Nizamuddin while announcing Ispahani Group as the title sponsor of the tournament.

Nizamuddin added that they are unable to have DRS in the BPL as some other leagues are played at the same time and there the IPL owners are taking part with a huge investment.

“It can be the case (IPL owners are involved in other leagues and the money involved there is much higher than BPL that prompted the DRS service provider to choose them over BPL) and the thing is like that,” said Nizamuddin.

“We certainly have limitations and that is the reason our production house could not bring the DRS. The DRS service provider said that they don’t have enough manpower because DRS  equipment has been with us since the India series but we don’t have people to use it,” he concluded.

However, franchise captains and players expressed their excitement before the start of the tournament.

“Of course, we will try to become champions. Our team is young and energetic and there are a lot of all-rounders. If we can give our 100 percent, we will surely have good results,” Rangpur skipper Nurul Hasan said during the trophy unveiling ceremony in Mirpur.

Defending champions Comilla’s skipper Imrul Kayes vowed to retain the BPL title.

“Comilla always make such a team to become champions. We have a similar plan, We will try to retain the title,” Imrul said.