BPL Twenty20 kicks off February 9

Siddique Islam and Talha Bin Habib

The six teams participating in the first ever ‘Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Twenty20’ have estimated their total expenditure at over Tk 1.0 billion for the tournament that will kick off next month.

The average expenditure, including amounts involved in auction of players and other expenses, on the part of each team is estimated at a level between Tk 170 million (Tk 17 crore) and Tk 250 million (Tk 25 crore) respectively, the sources connected with those teams, told the FE Monday.

They said that all the six teams have given bank guarantees to the BPL Governing Council against their payment to players from abroad in two or three instalments.

“We expect that the sponsors will provide the funds to meet the estimated cost of each team,” the spokesman of a team said.

He also said the participating teams have given bank guarantees worth about US$ 6.0 million – the amount being $1.0 million for each team — to the BPL Governing Council for the payment of the auction money to the foreign players.

The cricket as a sports’ event, to recall, has turned into a big business in many parts of the world. The Indian Premium League (IPL), to cite an example, is now a multi-billion dollar show, attracting the starred players of all major cricketing nations. The brand value of the ILP was $3.67 billion a couple of years back, being only next to that of National Basketball Association (NBA) of the USA.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Bank (BB) is yet to receive any applications from the BPL Governing Council for the US currency to be purchased through the official channel for making payments to the participating foreign players.

“We did not get any official letter in this connection till today Monday),” a senior BB official the FE, adding that the central bank would take necessary actions after receiving such letters.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) expects to receive Tk 570 million, equivalent to $6.80 million at the current rate of exchange, each season of the T-20 event under the banner of BPL.

Game of Sports Management, an Indian company, bought the management title, BPL Twenty Twenty (T-20) for six years at US$44.33 million, equivalent to Taka 3.54 billion (354 crore).

Meanwhile, a senior treasury official of a leading private commercial bank told the FE that authorities concerned should carefully look into the matter about the mode of foreign currency transactions for the event, after the approval by the central bank.

About the mode of payment to the participating foregin players in the upcoming tournment, the chairman of BPL Governing Council Gazi Ashraf Hossain Lipu said, “We hope there will be an inter-ministerial meeting this week. The mode of payment to the foregin players will be decided there.”

The participating teams in the BPL T-20 are: Barisal Burners, Chittagong Kings, Dhaka Gladiators, Duronto Rajshahi, Khulna Royal Bengal and Sylhet Royals.

The tournament will start on the February 09 and the final event will take place on the February 29 this year. The competition will start in the form of a double round robin group, in which each of the six teams will play against every other team twice. The matches will followed by two semi-finals and a final.

There will be 63 matches at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in the capital and Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong.

This will be the first season of the BPL 2012.

Top four teams will play in semi-final cross-wise.

The culture and history of the War of Liberation will be displayed at the opening ceremony of the tournament. The ceremony would last for about two and a half hours.

Mumbai-based film stars Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, and Deepika Padukone are likely to be present at the opening ceremony. The noted Indian singers Shaan, Shreya Ghoshal and Sunidhi Chauhan are also expected to arrive in the capital city of Dhaka on the occasion of BPL T-20 event.

Earlier auction for BPL franchises was held on January 10. And the players’ auction took place on January 18 and 19 in the capital city.

India-based Game On Sports Management will run the tournament after winning the bid from the Bangladesh Cricket Board for six years for $44.33 or Tk 3.54 billion on December 21 last.

Each franchise spent between US $ 2.0 million and $ 5.0 million at the player-auction.

The money would be given to the players proportionately for the matches for which they are available.

Shaheed Afridi of Pakistan was sold to the Dhaka franchise for the highest amount of $ 7,00,000.

West Indian batsman Chris Gayle, who will be available from February 14, will be another attraction at the BPL T-20, at its inaugural season, playing for Barisal which would pay $551,000 to him.

His compatriots, Marlon Samuels and Kieron Pollard, also created a stir as they were sold for $360,000 and $300,000 to Rajshahi and Dhaka franchises respectively.

A total of 111 overseas players and 80 local cricketers were put on auction with teams given a maximum budget of $2.0 million and the maximum limit of hiring up to eight overseas players.

Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik (Chittagong $150,000) West Indies’ Dwayne Bravo (Chittagong $150,000), Australia’s Brad Hodge (Barisal $140,000) and Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya (Rajshahi $110,000) and Muttiah Muralitharan (Chittagong $100,000) were, among others, to go for big money.

No Indian players were included in the auction. Along with Panesar and Gibbs, New Zealand’s Scott Styris and Lou Vincent failed to attract any buyer.

Ireland’s wicket-keeper-cum-batsman Niall O’Brien was the most expensive player from among the cricket-playing nations, with Khulna paying $80,000 for the batsman.

Bangladesh internationals Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Ashraful, Shahriar Nafees and Alok Kapali had been selected as ‘icon players’ for six franchises and were excluded from auction.

All-rounder Nasir Hossain was the most-sought-after Bangladeshi in the auction, with Khulna sealing his signature for $200,000.

Md Sabik Rahman, managing director of Alif Group which owns Barisal Burners said the estimated expenditure of their team would be between Tk 170 million (17 crore) and Tk 180 million (Tk 18 crore).

Shihab Hossain Chowdhury, director of Europa Group that owns Dhaka Gladiators said the estimated expenditure of their team at the level between Tk 240 million ( Tk 24 crore) and Tk 250 million (Tk 25 crore).

Uday Hakim, senior deputy director of Walton Mega Shop that owns Sylhet Royals, said the estimated cost for their team during the tournament would be between Tk 170 million (Tk17 crore) and Tk 180 million (Tk 18 crore).

Mr Mujibur Rahman, managing director of S.Q. Sports Enterprise Ltd., which owns Chittagong Kings, said the estimated cost of their team will be around Tk 200 million (Tk 20 crore).

Md Towhidur Rahman, manager of Digital Auto Care that owns Duronto Rajshahi, said they estimated the total cost for their team during the tournament at around Tk 180 million (Tk 18 crore).

Md Ashfaqul Alam, corporate manger of Orion Group that owns Khulna Royal Bengal said they are yet to finalise their budget for the team during the tournament.

A designated spokeman of Dhaka Gladiators said the Pakistani all-rounder Afridi would only be available for the last two days of the BPL’s maiden T-20 event as he will be will be playing for the national team of Pakistan against England in the United Arab Emirates, during the most of the time of the BPL’s T-20 event.

“Pakistani cricket star Shahid Afridi will be given $ 48,000 per match. Afridi might be available for playing the semi-final and final if the team is able to reach that stage,” the spokesman of Dhaka Gladiators told the FE.

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