Bangladesh Premier League (BPL)
History of BPL
The Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) is a professional T20 cricket league in Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Premier League has become a significant fixture in the global T20 cricket landscape, providing a platform for cricketing talent from Bangladesh and worldwide to showcase their skills.
Here is an overview of the history of the BPL:
First Season (2012):
The Bangladesh Premier League was first organized in 2012 by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB). It was modeled after popular T20 leagues like the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Big Bash League (BBL). The league adopted a franchise-based format, where individual teams represented different cities or regions of Bangladesh.
In the inaugural season of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2012, there were seven teams, each representing different regions of Bangladesh. Here are the teams and their respective owners: (Note the team names changed every season, so we use current or last-used names.)
- Dhaka Dominators (Owned by Newtext Knit Fashions Limited)
- Chattogram Challengers (Owned by DBL Group)
- Fortune Barisal (Owner Fortune Group)
- Sylhet Strikers (Owner Sylhet Sports Limited)
- Khulna Tigers (Owner MindTree Limited)
- Rajshahi Royals (Owner: Bashundhara Group)
The league gained popularity in subsequent years, with the number of franchises and players’ participation increasing. The Rajshahi Royals team was eliminated from BPL in the next season. The Rajshahi owners took another team with the name of Rangpur Riders. Commila Victorians added to the league in 2015, which is currently owned by Comilla Legends Limited. The number of participating teams was expanded to seven in 2016, bringing in additional franchises and increasing competition. In 2016, the league was rebranded as the Bangladesh Premier League T20, emphasizing its T20 format and aligning it with similar international leagues. Some franchises underwent changes in ownership and branding over the years, leading to shifts in team identities and management structures.
BPL Winners List 2012-2023
Here is a list of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) winners from its inception in 2012 up to the 2020-2021 season:
- 2012: Dhaka Gladiators
- 2013: Dhaka Gladiators
- 2014: Suspended
- 2015: Comilla Victorians
- 2016: Dhaka Dynamites
- 2017: Dhaka Dynamites
- 2019-2020: Rajshahi Royals
- 2020-21: Canceled due to COVID-19
- 2022: Comilla Victorians
- 2023: Comilla Victorians
Controversies and Challenges
1. Corruption Allegations (2013)
The first season of the BPL in 2012 was marred by allegations of corruption. Several players and officials were accused of match-fixing and other corrupt practices. In 2014, the BCB initiated a corruption probe into allegations of match-fixing, spot-fixing, and other corrupt practices. Several players were banned, including some prominent names in Bangladeshi cricket. This led to a temporary suspension of the league in 2014. Former Bangladesh Captain Muhammad Ahsraful received a lifetime ban from cricket after being proven guilty. The Umpires Nadir Shah and spinner Shariful Haque also got a suspension from cricket. The league was banned for the year 2014.
2. Ownership and Financial Issues (2014-2015):
Some franchises faced financial difficulties and ownership disputes, which raised concerns about the stability and viability of the league. It resulted in a reshuffling of ownership structures. Some team owners were suspended in 2014 due to their involvement in corrupt activities. It raised questions about the governance and integrity of the league.
3. Player Payment Disputes
There were instances of delayed or unpaid player salaries and bonuses, leading to player disputes and protests. Many international players and coaches have been involved in payment disputes. Recently, Nasum Ahmed emerged as the victim of a payment dispute.
4. Player Draft Controversies 2019
The player draft for the 2019-2020 season faced criticism and controversy over the selection process and perceived unfairness. The Direct Pick Rule allowed many franchises to pick players directly without going through the draft system. The inequitable player distribution received backlash from franchise owners and cricket fans.
Some franchise owners expressed dissatisfaction with the draft results, contending that the player allocation system favored specific teams. They argued that this could affect the overall competitiveness and appeal of the league. In response to the controversy, discussions and negotiations occurred between the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and the franchise owners. The BCB sought to address the concerns and find an acceptable resolution for all parties involved.
5. Player Discipline Issues
Incidents of player misconduct or breach of discipline have occurred, leading to fines, suspensions, or other disciplinary actions. Various players, most notably Shakib al Hasan, were found in different disputes and discipline issues in the BPL. The 2015-2016 season witnessed a high-profile incident when Sabbir Rahman, a prominent Bangladeshi cricketer, was fined for making an obscene gesture during a match. During BPL seasons, a few players were fined for disciplinary breaches. These included incidents of dissent against umpire decisions and showing dissent towards opponents.
Prize Money and Individual Awards
The prize money for the winning team in 2023 was 2 Crore Taka. The runner-up team got half of the amount the winning team got. The BCB announced the prize money for ten categories, with BDT 5,000 going to the player of the final match, greatest wicket-taker, and highest run-getter in each.
The BPL Quiz winner got 20 lakhs in the 2023 season. The award money for players of the tournament in 2023 was ten lakhs BDT. The best field of the tournament got BDT 3 lakhs. The player of the match earned different money packages. For every league match, it is 1 lakh BDT. In the eliminator stage, it raised to 3 lakh BDT.
Legacy of BPL in Bangladesh
Overall, the Bangladesh Premier League has played a pivotal role in shaping the cricketing landscape in Bangladesh, providing a platform for talent, entertainment, and economic growth in the cricket industry. BPL provided a platform for domestic cricketers in Bangladesh to showcase their talent alongside international stars. It has helped identify and nurture local talent, leading to the emergence of promising players.
The league brought international attention to Bangladeshi cricket. It attracted renowned international players and allowed local talent to compete at a high level, raising the profile of Bangladesh cricket on the global stage. BPL has played a vital role in developing young cricketers by providing them with exposure to high-quality competition and the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals. The league’s success prompted investments in cricket infrastructure, including stadiums, training facilities, and academies. This has improved the overall cricketing ecosystem in Bangladesh.
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