What Bangladesh Cricket Gains From BPL?
15 October 2015, Nirapad News: The third version of BPL T20 Cricket with six franchises is set to start from End November. A debate has ensued in cricket community of Bangladesh about perceived benefits of BPL for Bangladesh Cricket.
The recent successes of Bangladesh cricket in ODI format of international cricket and improving trend in test cricket has taken cricket to such a stage for more organized structure of domestic longer version cricket. In the high monsoon of Bangladesh of Bangladesh cricket many considers BPL may not serve that purpose as this will mostly serve the interest of leading international cricketers.
Second edition of BPL created lot of controversies regarding payments and allegations of match fixing. Consequently Bangladesh lost the services of one of its Icon Cricketer Mohammad Ashraful.
Many believe that some of the masterminds of match fixing were let off the hook through loop holes of regulations. BPL 3 would reportedly allow Pakistan players Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif, who served suspension terms from cricket for spot fixing. They were even imprisoned. But Ashraful cannot play in his own backyard.
The structure of BPL this time is restricting the payments to local cricketers’. But foreign players will get much higher payments. The payment structure of two categories is
Foreign Player: Category “A” US$ 70,000, Category “B” 50,000, Category “C” 40,000 and Category “D” 30,000
Local Players: Six Icon Players Tk 35 Lakhs, Category “A” Tk 25 Lakh, Category “B” 18 Lakhs, Category “C” 12 Lakhs and Category “D” 6 Lakhs.
It can be seen from above that even players like Mashrafe, Shakib, Tamim, Mushfiqur, Mahmudullah and Nasir will get much less than many international players who are not even of their categories. Moreover, foreign players get payment in dollars and locals in taka.
These kinds of cricket including the most famous IPL are happy hunting ground for international mafia syndicates alluring players into match fixing. The payment disparity may encourage one or few local talents get allured to such evil acts. It is being reported that ACSU may not send their representatives for BPL. Rather BCB members of ACSU will work as watch dogs. We are not sure how many persons in Bangladesh have faith in them.
In the cricket high noon BCB should have let domestic cricket to stage different divisions league in Dhaka and other centers and concentrate more on talent hunting, local age group cricket. Bangladesh needs better organization of longer version cricket for test playing temperament.
We are aware that with T20 cricket round the corner Bangladesh needs more exposure to that version as well. But with foreign recruits dominating BPL what benefits it will bring to most of the local talents. Moreover, flow of nonwhite money in such kinds of tournament always creates suspicion for match fixing. It will not be surprising if some more local talents get trapped in match fixing scandals. The risks will be very high and genuine.
Years after years club organizers pioneered cricket in Bangladesh. Cricket leagues in Dhaka metropolis BPL.and other districts must be rather sponsored so that these can be held regularly on proper surfaces. These will create more players and nurture qualities at grass root. With Icon players and readymade stars BPL sponsors will have instant success but these will not create sustainable quality for Bangladesh cricket. The sooner our cricket policy makers realize this, better.
The opening ceremony in the past was dominated by artists and celebrities of neighboring countries and our own talents were sadly ignored. We are not very sure whether that will be repeated this time also. Even Bangladeshis were not in event management. May be some individuals were benefited from earlier versions of BPL but Bangladesh cricket as a whole was not much benefited.
There are genuine allegations about IPL. Cases are pending in Indian court. Some franchise got suspended. Even the present ICC Chairman is under suspect. I am sure BCB does not want to march into that kind of ignominy.
Bangladesh cricket has reached a stage where we need to create a critical mass of cricketers to drive Bangladesh cricket to still higher in international arena. We must target reaching among the top 5 in limited over version and top 7 in test by 2021. For that BPL is unfortunately not the preferred route cricket experts believe.