Mismanagement hinders build-up, say BPL teamsAtif Azam
With less than 72 hours left for the second edition of the Bangladesh Premier League to kick off, the franchisees and the tournament’s governing council are still facing umpteenth problem.
The cash-rich Twenty20 tournament was generally hailed as a success in the first edition despite a pay dispute and the farce before deciding the semi-final line up.
The BPL governing council for the first edition faced much criticism for the way they handled certain issues, but according to franchisees it has gone only from bad to worse after a new group replaced the officials for the second edition.
There are many issues still needed to be sorted out, including the participation of Pakistani players and the accommodation of players, which put the franchisees in an uncertain situation.
Champions Dhaka Gladiators are among others who raised their voice against the mismanagement of the tournament and doubted whether it would be financially viable for them.
‘They (BPL governing council) are failing in many ways and it only proves the tournament is going through a total mismanagement,’ Salim Chowdhury, owner of Gladiators, told reporters on Saturday.
‘The promotional activities are not worth mentioning as nothing is being done by the BPL committee that suggest they are not keen to take the game into the heart of the fans,’ said Salim.
‘If that is not ensured it would be difficult to sustain as the fans can only ensure a success to the competition,’ added Salim.
Salim’s disappointment doubled as he is yet to start his team’s practice like he did in the first edition because of unavailability of players – both local and foreign.
Most of the local players were engaged in the Bangladesh Cricket League while the Pakistani players still remain doubtful about their participation in the tournament.
‘Earlier we started our practice with some days in hand before the tournament and that helped us gel as a team on our way to winning the championship,’ Salim.
‘We are yet to get the full squad whereas even today the BCB could not guarantee over the Pakistani players’ participation,’ added Salim.
Duranto Rajshahi owner Mushfiqur Rahman also echoed the same opinion as Salim and took a U-turn from his earlier stance when he had confirmed the Pakistani players’ participation in the tournament.
Mushfiq brought in Pakistani Abdul Razzak to prove his point and show the media there is little to worry about the Pakistani players though Razzak foiled the attempt saying he cannot go against the board.
‘It is really very difficult with so many uncertainties around. Though I am a positive man still I cannot say anything with supreme authority on the Pakistani players’ issue,’ said Mushfiq.
Apart from promotion and their failure to ensure the franchises about the Pakistani players, the BPL governing council is yet to finalise a company for the opening ceremony, which is just two days away.
The franchises are yet to receive confirmation about their air tickets to take their players to the other two venues in Khulna and Chittagong.
Some franchises complained that due to a lack of cooperation from the BCB they did not get the hotel booking and are being charged almost double than their expected rent.
Earlier, the BCB had booked the hotel for the players and the franchises paid them accordingly which also reduced their sufferings but this time round they have been told to book hotel rooms for their own teams in five hotels of the capital – Ruposhi Bangla, Hotel Pan Pacific Sonargaon, Radisson Water Garden, Westin and Dhaka Regency.
Ismail Haider Mallick, member-secretary of the BPL governing council, however, did not see any problem with preparation for the tournament.
‘The hotel is the concern of the franchises, so why should the BCB take up the responsibility,’ said Mallick.
‘We will finalise a company today (Saturday) after a presentation at a meeting in the evening,’ he said.
‘As far as the practice issue is concerned, the academy ground is ready for use which I feel is our duty to arrange for the franchises. Any team can avail the opportunity,’ he said.
Mallick added that he was also hopeful about the participation of Pakistani players, though there is very little time left for their arrival.
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