Bangladesh Premier League – BPL

The Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) is a domestic T20 tournament that was authorized by the Bangladesh Cricket Board back in 2012 and has turned out to be a phenomenal success. The BPL has played a major role in increasing the revenue of the Bangladesh Cricket Board and has helped to identify talented players in the country. The League attracts international players from a number of countries, especially Pakistan and the West Indies.

BPL History

BPL Cricket League

After the enormous success of the Indian Premier League, Mustafa Kamal, the president of the Bangladesh Cricket board during 2012 decided to launch a similar concept on a smaller scale in Bangladesh.

The league has grown in popularity over the years and the 2015 edition of the BPL made it the third most popular league in terms of average crowd attendance and the 2016 edition made it the second most popular cricket league, with the IPL coming in first. The current brand value of the BPL is estimated to be around $800 million [1].

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The BPL started with six franchises and got off to a good start but was soon mired in controversy after two seasons. The T20 format has been a key target for match fixers and a number of leagues including the IPL and BPL have been shaken by such incidents. The BPL governing committee had to address a number of allegations after the second edition that involved all six franchises and made a decision to postpone the third edition indefinitely.

These allegations rocked Bangladesh cricket and the BPL significantly and there were rumours that the BPL might be scrapped for good.

However, the Bangladesh Cricket Board decided to scrap the six franchises and come up with six new teams for the 2015 edition of the tournament.

The board has confirmed that during the next edition of the tournament, it will introduce an additional two more teams which is expected to increase the popularity and brand value of the league going forward.

The league started out by selling its 2012-2013 sponsorship rights to the Destiny Group for $1 million, the 2013-2014 edition was hiked to $1.5 million and bought by Prime Bank Limited. The current sponsors of the league are BRB Cables Limited who bought the sponsorship rights for $2 million [2].

BPL Prizes

Bangadesh cricket

The prize money for the 2015 edition of the BPL was a total of $1.5 million out of which $700 went to the winning team, $350,000 to the runners-up, $150,000 to the team that finished third and around $100,000 to the team that came in fourth place.

The other teams do not get any prize money. The Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the series gets a brand new car, while other outstanding player performances during the BPL are awarded with motorcycles. 

BPL Fixtures

The BPL is squeezed in towards the end of each year and usually takes place during the 4th week of November to the second week of December.

Bangladesh Premier League Format

This three week tournament features double round robin matches where each franchise gets to play a total of ten league games. The teams are given points for every match they win and at the end of the round robin stage, the top four teams advance to the semi-finals.

The semi-finals are based on a single elimination format and the two winning teams advance to play the grand finale which generally takes place one day before Bangladesh can celebrate their Victory Day.

Franchises participate in a draft day where they get to select players from a group pool and build their team. There are a number of different ways for franchises to build a team ranging from buying domestic and international players, picking up uncapped players, trading or exchanging players and buying replacement players. Trading players is allowed during a special trading window and can only be completed if the selected player is in agreement of being traded.

Every franchise will consist of a minimum of 16 players, 1 coach and 1 physiotherapist. There can be a maximum of 8 international players chosen but just like most domestic T20 franchises; only four international players are allowed to play on game day.

The franchises are also required to sign a minimum of 2 uncapped players to give young Bangladeshi cricketers are chance of playing in the big league and getting a chance of being fast tracked into the national side.

BPL Teams

There are currently six teams that take part in the BPL but there are talks of introducing two more teams during the next season and bringing it to a total of eight teams. The two franchises expected to be introduced during the next season will most likely be two franchises that were banned in the past.

Comilla Victorians

Comilla Victorians

This franchise is owned by Legends Sporting Limited who have spent nearly $5.50 million to put together their team which is captained by Bangladeshi star player Mashrafe Mortaza, coached by Mohammad Salauddin and mentored by Pakistani fast bowler Wasim Akaram.

Home matches for the franchise are played in the city of Comilla and the team has a number of well known international players including West Indians Andre Russel, Sunil Narine and Marlon Samuels, Pakistanis Shoaib Malik and Ahmed Shehzad.

Comilla Victorians won the 2015 BPL championship.

Chittagong Vikings

Chittagong Vikings

This franchise is owned by the DBL Group Limited who have spent around $5.20 million to build a team that is captained by Bangladeshi opening batsman Tamim Iqbal and coached by former Sri-Lankan test batsman Marvan Atapattu.

The team used the services of former Australian batsman Dean Jones and West Indian superstar Brian Lara to promote its franchise. The Vikings play home games at the Chittagong stadium, the second largest city in Bangladesh and homes games quickly sell out.

Some of the top international players in the Vikings franchise include Pakistani players Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal and Mohammed Amir along with South African Robin Peterson and Sri Lanakan batsman T Dilshan.

Sylhet Super Stars

Sylhet Superstar

This franchise is owned by the Alif Group Limited who have spent around $5.03 million to put together a team that is captained by Pakistani star Shahid Afridi and coached by Sarwar Imran.

Home games are played at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium, in Sylhet and fans turn out in large numbers to support their home team.

Some of the well known international stars that represent the Sylhet Super Stars include Englishmen Ravi Bopara, Chris Jordan and Owais Shah, along with West Indian Kieron Pollard and Fidel Edwards.

The franchises theme songs has become extremely popular with every season and helped to promote the franchise heavily.

Dhaka Dynamites

Dhaka Dynamites

This franchise is owned by the Beximco who have spent around $5.05 million to build a team that is captained by ex-Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara and coached by former Australian coach Mickey Arthur.

The franchise uses a number of stadiums in the capital city of Dhaka to stage its home matches but their favourite home ground is the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. The team was initially known as the Dhaka Gladiators before being rebranded in 2015 as the Dhaka Dynamites. The franchise has had enormous success in the BPL winning the 2012 and 2013 championship.

Some of the international players who have represented the Dynamites include Pakistani cricketers Nasir Jamshed, Mohammed Hafiz, Mohammed Irfan and Sohail Khan.

Dhaka Dynamites official theme song:

Rangpur Riders

Rangpur Riders cricket

This franchise is owned by I-Sports Limited who have spent around $3.10 million to put their team together.

The Riders play home games at the Rangpur Cricket Garden in Rangpur and are captained by Bangladeshi all-rounder and superstar Shakib Al Hasan and are coached by Shane Jurgensen.

The Riders are looking to make a big impression in the next edition of the tournament and feature international cricketers like Sri Lankans Sachithra Senanayake and Thisara Perera; West Indians Darren Sammy and Lendl Simmons and Pakistani players Misbah-ul-Haq and Wahab Riaz.

Rangpur Riders theme song: 

Barisal Bulls

Barisal Bulls cricket

This franchise is owned by Axiom Technologies who have spent $3.01 million, which is the lowest amount amongst all the other franchises to put together a team that is captained by Mahmudullah Riyad and coached by Graham Ford.

The team players their home games at the Abdur Rab Serniabad Stadium in Barisal and made the final of the first edition of the BPL but ended up on the losing side.

Some of the featured international players in the squad include West Indians Chris Gayle and Kevon Cooper, Zimbabwean Brendan Taylor and Pakistani fast bowler Mohammed Sami.

Barisal Bulls theme song: 

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BPL Facts

  • Khulna Royal Bengals and Duronto Rajshahi franchises going defunct
  • BCB suspending the six franchises indefinitely due to corruption allegations
  • Chris Gayle highest paid player in 2015 with a fee of $210,000
  • Shakib-Al-Hasan is Bangladesh’s highest earning cricketer in 2016 with a $35 million networth [3]
  • Two new franchises to be introduced during the 2016 season
  • BPL only second to the IPL in being the most popular cricketing league in the world

Reference Links

[1], How does the Pakistan Super League fare against the Indian Premier League?, 2016

[1], BRB Cable to sponsor BPL third edition, 2015

[2], Shakib Al Hasan has a Networth of $35 million, 2016