Dhaka, Bangladesh: Bangladesh plans to revive a lucrative Twenty20 tournament in November, two years after it was halted in the wake of match-fixing scandals, cricket officials said Wednesday.
The Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), which started in 2012, was suspended indefinitely after the second edition amid revelations that former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful and four others were involved in fixing matches.
The tournament, which drew talent from around the world, was also tainted by salary issues, including franchises failing to pay match fees to scores of players.
But Bangladesh Cricket Board officials said the new tournament starting on November 24 would feature six new franchises, including in Dhaka and Chittagong, backed by big companies.
“This time we’ve big companies buying franchises. So hopefully players’ payment won’t be an issue from now on,” BPL secretary Ismail Haider told a press conference in Dhaka.
“We are confident BPL will attract some of the best cricketers on earth,” he said.
Haider also said the BCB would engage anti-corruption officers to tackle match-fixing issues. “We have our own anti-graft unit, which is fully functional.”
Ashraful and four players and officials, including New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent, were banned for various periods after a tribunal set up jointly by the International Cricket Council and the BCB found them guilty.
The Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA), a players’ body, last year had warned members against future participation in the BPL due to prolonged non-payment of match fees.
Haider said the BCB has cleared dues owed to almost all of the players who took part in the earlier editions. It has received bank guarantees from the new franchises to avoid a repeat of the problem.