BCB names 6 BPL franchises

September 17, 2015

The Bangladesh Cricket Board on Wednesday confirmed six franchises for the third edition of the Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 tournament, which gets underway from November 24. Eastern city Comilla will join Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, Rangpur and Barisal for the event that will resume after a gap of two years. The BCB excluded Rajshahi and Khulna from the third edition as there were no takers for them in the bidding.
Beximco was awarded Dhaka franchise while DBL Group took Chittagong. Royal Sporting Limited, a company linked to former International Cricket Council President AHM Mustafa Kamal, was given the newly inducted Comilla franchise.
Alif Group, who owned Barisal previously, had to settle with Sylhet this time. Axiom Group took the ownership of Barisal while I Sports were given Rangpur franchise.
All six companies were given the franchises for a period of four years, said the BPL governing council at a press conference adding that they have plans to increase the number of teams to 10.
BRB Cables secured the title and in-stadia sponsorship rights while Channel-9 will continue as the broadcasting partnership.
The BPL authority said they were waiting for a written petition of Dhaka Gladiators to be disposed before making the formal announcement about the new franchises and sponsors.
‘On Tuesday, the honourable Supreme Court dismissed their petition, so we thought we don’t have to wait anymore,’ said BPL governing council chairman Afzalur Rahman.
Gladiators, champions in the first two editions, were unwelcomed in the new bidding after the team’s two owners were banned for 10 years by a special tribunal for their part in match-fixing scandal.
The BCB kept the door open for other franchises to return, but officials said only Alif Group, Royal Sporting and I Sports took the chance by clearing their dues and giving the necessary financial assurances.
BCB officials said the agreements with all the seven previous franchises have been terminated and arbitration is going on with three franchises over financial matters.
‘The arbitration is only about financial dispute. There is no way that they can reclaim the ownership of the franchises,’ said BPL governing council secretary Ismail Haider.
Ismail added that the BCB will engage its own anti-corruption unit this time to tackle match-fixing unlike the previous two editions when a private agency and ICC’s Anti Corruption and Security Unit handled the matters.
Ismail added that members of the BPL governing council have been barred from involving with any teams.
The opening ceremony of the tournament will be held on November 22 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
The matches of the tournament could be held in three venues – Mirpur, Chittagong and Khulna.
BCB media committee chairman Jalal Yunus said that the fixtures and other details of the tournament will be announced in due course.

-With New Age input

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