The Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) will not take place in 2020-21 due to the coronavirus pandemic as confirmed by Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) chief. The seventh edition of the competition has already been pushed back to December and will now be delayed until next year. The decision came up following the spike of infection in Bangladesh and the problems with foreign nationals entering the country.
“BPL is not happening this year,” BCB president Nazmul Hasan told reporters at the launch of the inaugural edition of the three-team 50-over tournament at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium over the weekend. “Let’s see it in next year. We do not want to miss any game but everything will depend on the situation and circumstances. Currently, there have been over 378,000 cases of the virus in Bangladesh.
“Because whenever there is talk of BPL, there must be foreign cricketers. At the same time there is the matter of production. Now if we can do those in Bangladesh then we have no objection. But it is a little bigger arrangement because of the number of players there and the team management are much higher. I don’t know if we are able to handle that or not,” Nazmul added.
He also ruled out the possibility of hosting the franchise-based T20 tournament abroad like the successful on-going Indian Premier League (IPL) in UAE. “I don’t think it will be easy (organise the tournament outside),” added Nazmul. “I tell you when we go to run in Bangladesh (BPL), except for one or two franchises, the rest of us have a hard time to play the tournament.”
Players from Bangladesh national team, High-Performance Unit and selected members of the 2020 ICC Under-19 World Cup champion squad were to be featured in the now postponed tournament. While competitive cricket finally resumed in Bangladesh after a gap of six months with the three-team 50-over tournament, the top cricket tournament remains unlikely.
Nazmul admits that the BCB does not have the budget to host the tournament outside Bangladesh before revealing that he was yet to have an official word with the franchises. “I heard it today the bio-security belt has to be created outside say in the UK and even in Dubai for the IPL as well and I don’t think it is possible for anyone. It is almost impossible for us to spend so much money, he said.”
The cricket governing body in Bangladesh has proposed that they finish the remainder of the 2019-20 season of Dhaka Premier League (DPL) later in the year. “They have three proper grounds and we usually need three grounds to hold the DPL. If we can do this three-team one-day series and the T20 tournament next month, I don’t want to delay the DPL,” Nazmul said.
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