Last-minute PCB decision puts franchises in troubleStaff Correspondent
The last-minute decision of Pakistan to keep its players off from the Bangladesh Premier League put the franchises in deep trouble to find replacements despite the assurance given by Bangladesh Cricket Board.
The BCB waited until 10:00am on Wednesday for the Pakistani players and instructed the franchises to look for alternatives after a negative reply from the Pakistan Cricket Board.
A total of 51 Pakistani cricketers were put up for auction for the second edition of the BPL while 27 of them were chosen by different franchises for the tournament.
Three franchises – Khulna Royal Bengals, Rangpur Riders and Duranto Rajshahi – are the most-affected sides with this development and they looked desperate to find a suitable replacement even though the tournament is due to start on Friday.
Royal Bengals were the worst hit as they had picked seven Pakistani players – Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Awais Zia, Umar Amin, Ahmed Shehzad, Haris Sohail and Bilawal Bhatti.
‘We have fallen into a deep sea,’ Ashfaqur Rahman, a director of Royal Bengals told New Age. ‘We just cannot get replacements overnight. Even if we want to get replacements we need time to bring them,’ he said.
‘We are asking the governing council to change the date of our first game so that we can arrange the players,’ he said.
Rangpur bought four players – Sharjil Khan, Anwar Ali, Raja Ali Dar and Zoyeb Khan – and are yet to confirm any replacement.
‘The foreign players are engaged in different competitions like Big Bash. We are looking for suitable replacements though none has been confirmed yet,’ said Faruque Ahmed, adviser to Rangpur Riders.
Duranto Rajshahi have somehow replaced their four Pakistani players – Abdul Razzaq, Mohammad Sami, Shahzaib Hasan and Khalid Latif – with Simon Katich, Jeehan Mubarak, Dilshan Monaveera and Moin Ali.
Chittagong Kings are not keen for a replacement immediately for their two Pakistanis, Imran Nazir and Wahab Riaz, as they have enough players at their disposal.
‘We have other players to fill their shoes and would be looking for replacement if required with the progression of the tournament,’ said Sameer Quader Chowdhury, owner of Chittagong Kings.
Dhaka Gladiators have the least concern as they have just one Pakistani cricketer in Shahid Afridi in their side and they are not too worried about his non-availability.
‘We have got only one player and it won’t be a big problem but still we are looking for a replacement,’ said Salim Chowdhury, owner of Gladiators.
Sylhet Royals are looking for replacements for Azim Ghooman, Zulfiqur Babar, Babar Azam and Sohel Ahmed but are yet to get anyone.
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