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BCB takes charge of next edition of BPL after fallout with team owners

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The next edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) will not be a franchise-run affair and, instead, be owned by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), following a clash between the board and seven of the eight existing team owners, Dhaka Dynamites being the only exception. The update came from Nazmul Hassan, the BCB president, who announced in Dhaka on Wednesday that if franchises were not willing to stick to the rules of the BPL, the board was happy to “take the load of running the BPL” on its own.

“We were supposed to rework the agreements with the franchises this year. We have met them in between, we have had lots of meetings, and they have made a number of demands. But these are in direct conflict with the BPL model we have been working with. It’s not possible to accommodate the demands,” he said. “Some of them don’t want two editions of the BPL in one year [the last one was played in January-February this year, and the next is scheduled to start in December].

“They haven’t said they won’t play, but they don’t want it, because of the pressure of putting it together twice. We have considered everything, and decided to host the next BPL on our own. We won’t have franchises.”

“That’s a joke. It’s the biggest joke in world cricket. Let them try. We have been spending crores to bring the best players from overseas. Let’s see what the BCB do”

Ishtiaque Sadeque, CEO of Rangpur Riders

ESPNcricinfo understands that the big issue was Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh’s premier cricketer, opting to sign up with Rangpur Riders earlier this year from Dhaka Dynamites. As such, the franchises had the option of signing four players from outside the player draft, which made Shakib’s switch, as well as that of other prominent players Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim, fine. But, it is believed, the Dhaka franchise was not happy about losing its star player, and wanted changes in the rules.

“Apart from Dhaka Dynamites, everyone wanted the same thing. Shakib left Dhaka, so they couldn’t accept it, they lost their heads,” Ishtiaque Sadeque, CEO of Rangpur Riders, told ESPNcricinfo. “We all wanted the old rules to stay, that’s all. All of us wanted it, except Dhaka.

“Now the BCB wants to run the BPL like a Dhaka Premier League. That’s a joke. It’s the biggest joke in world cricket. Let them try. We have been spending crores to bring the best players from overseas. Let’s see what the BCB do. Wait and watch.”

Hassan, however, refused to accept that Shakib’s transfer to Rangpur was in accordance with the rules, which have largely been fluid since the tournament began. “You can’t get a player from another team if you suddenly want to. That’s a basic principle. And Shakib knows this better than anyone else. He plays a lot outside Bangladesh. If he suddenly says he won’t play for [Sunrisers] Hyderabad this year and play for Chennai [Super Kings] instead, is that possible? It’s not. But in Bangladesh, all this happens. We will put a stop to that.”

“I can’t say right now if this will be the future. If it’s needed, the BCB will remain in charge. We have a set of rules, and we will outline more rules going forward. If someone wants to join, they can. But no one can join the BPL and then refuse to accept the rules”

Nazmul Hassan, BCB president

The battlelines have clearly been drawn, but Hassan was gung-ho about the BCB running the show, somewhat along the lines of the Australian Big Bash League, where Cricket Australia is the owner of the competition.

“BCB will own all the teams. You can compare it to the Big Bash, it will be the same format,” Hassan said. “The same teams will be there, but the management will be the BCB’s. We will pay all the salaries, we will arrange the hospitality, the travel, everything. I think everyone will be satisfied with this. The team owners who didn’t want to play will also be happy. The ones who were worried about losing money will be even happier. They will save all the money.

“I can’t say right now if this will be the future. If it’s needed, the BCB will remain in charge. We have a set of rules, and we will outline more rules going forward. If someone wants to join, they can. But no one can join the BPL and then refuse to accept the rules.”

Hassan also explained that it was crucial from the BCB’s point of view to host the next edition of the BPL in December-January, because March 17, 2020 is the birth centenary of ‘Bangabandhu’ Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the nation, and BPL would flag off the celebrations.

“We want to begin the celebrations with cricket. We will dedicate this edition of the BPL to Bangabandhu,” Hassan said. “It will be called the Bangabandhu BPL, and if a sponsor comes along, that name will be added to the title.

“We are happy to have team sponsors. The names might change depending on what the sponsors want. We will try to maintain some logic – Dhaka, Khulna, Chattogram, these names will stay. And if the teams, because they have sponsors, want to buy foreign players directly, that’s up to them. If someone wants to bring an expensive coach, they can. The sponsors must be kept happy too.”



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‘World Cup or IPL?’ – Quinton de Kock clarifies

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During the World Cup earlier this year, Quinton de Kock created a mild furore by saying the atmosphere during his IPL 2019 win with Mumbai Indians was more emotionally intense than the one during South Africa’s semi-final defeat in the World Cup in 2015. Blasphemy, cried those who support international cricket over leagues, national flags over similar-looking jerseys. Blown out of proportion, said those who had heard the question, which related to emotional atmosphere at a ground and not the value of a tournament or a match.

A couple of months later, on the eve of South Africa’s T20I against India in Mohali, de Kock was given an opportunity to clarify what he meant.

“What must I say?” It is the biggest thing I have won so far. I haven’t won a World Cup,” de Kock said as a matter of fact. “So obviously once I win a World Cup, if I do, that will be the biggest ever thing I have done in my career. So far it is an IPL. I had played for a couple of teams but had never made the play-offs before. I played for Mumbai, we made the final and we won. So obviously it is a big achievement for any cricketer. There are so many things that cricketers these days want to be part of. They want to win IPL finals. They want to be part of World Cup finals and win them. Personally it’s different for everyone. Everyone has their opinions. My opinion is mine. Their opinion is theirs. For me that’s the biggest thing I have achieved so far.”

The IPL final could not be accused of being dull. Played in front of a raucous crowd, the match involved a successful defence of eight runs in the final over. De Kock was in the thick of him: taking a catch, effecting a run-out, but also conceding four byes off a Jasprit Bumrah hand grenade. The World Cup semi-final was a similarly close affair, but New Zealand beat South Africa in that heart-breaking finish. As a wicketkeeper, de Kock was in the thick of it again, taking a superlative catch to send back Ross Taylor but missing the run-out of Grant Elliott, who eventually took New Zealand home.



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Recent Match Report – India A vs South Africa A 2nd unofficial Test 2019

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Vernon Philander, Lungi Ngidi and Senuran Muthusamy, three bowlers who could line-up together in the XI for South Africa’s first Test against India in Visakhapatnam, had to go through the grind on the first day of South Africa A’s second four-day fixture against India A in Mysuru. They managed just one wicket between them in 35 overs as the Indians got to a healthy 233 for 3 in 74 overs before bad light forced early stumps.

Shubman Gill, who is unlikely to feature in that Test but is part of the India squad, provided yet another reminder of why he’s rated so highly. Opening the innings, he struck a 137-ball 92, courtesy 12 fours and a six, before becoming the third Indian wicket to fall. Karun Nair, the man with whom Gill forged a 135-run third-wicket stand, continued his good form from the Duleep Trophy to remain unbeaten on 78. His first-class scores for the season before this one read: 20, 90, 166* and 99.

ALSO READ: Shubman Gill interview: ‘Mindset, not game should change.’

When play ended for the day, Nair was batting alongside India A captain Wriddhiman Saha, unbeaten on 36. Rishabh Pant’s Test position isn’t yet under scrutiny, but with a potentially tough examination coming up against South Africa, Saha, who has been named the second wicket-keeper in the Test squad, will have an opportunity to further press his credentials.

Abhimanyu Easwaran, who opened alongside Gill, and Priyank Panchal, who came in at No.3 with Gill opening, scored 5 and 6 respectively. Abhimanyu, coming off a match-winning 153 in the Duleep Trophy final that potentially set him in line for a Test call-up, was the first to go lbw to Ngidi in the sixth over. Panchal followed 11 overs later when he was out to Wiaan Mulder’s medium pace.

From there, Gill and Nair drove home the advantage before Gill fell eight short of his fifth first-class century, shortly before the tea interval. In his 15-match first class career, the 21-year-old now has two centuries and two double-centuries, the last of which was an unbeaten 204 against West Indies A in a second innings, which lifted India A from the pits of 14 for 3 to set up a declaration and eventually push for victory.



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Match Preview – Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe, Bangladesh Twenty20 Tri-Series 2019, 4th Match

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Big Picture

Bangladesh and Zimbabwe have been no match for Afghanistan in the T20I tri-series so far, so the game on Wednesday is one neither side can afford to slip up in. Both have not produced noteworthy moments so far, with both sets of senior players going through a rough time, though Bangladesh hold the advantage of having won the first encounter between the two.

The hosts’ problems against Afghanistan have resulted in wholesale changes in their squad for the remaining league matches, although only Soumya Sarkar’s axing was courtesy his performance or lack thereof; Mahedi Hasan, Abu Hider and Yeasin Arafat were all dropped without playing a game.

Bangladesh must arrest the top-order slides that marred their first two matches. Seniors Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah have not made important contributions, neither have the likes of Liton Das and Sabbir Rahman. Among the bowlers, only Mohammad Saifuddin has stood out with wickets.

Zimbabwe have plenty to gain if they can manage to beat the under-fire home side. Much like in the case of Bangladesh, their senior batsmen – Brendan Taylor, Hamilton Masakadza, Sean Williams and Craig Ervine – must be desperate for decent contributions. On the bowling front, Neville Madziva has at times shown some skills with his slower bouncers and Kyle Jarvis has at times tested with pace and bounce, but Masakadza will probably rely on his spinners to slow things down.

It will be interesting to see if both team managements feel some of their younger players can be tried out in their top orders. For Zimbabwe, that could mean breaking up the Taylor-Masakadza opening pairing, but one of them can add a handy bit of meat and experience down the order.

Form guide

Bangladesh: LWLWL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Zimbabwe: LLWLT

In the spotlight

Since his breakthrough 94 against West Indies in the World Cup, Liton Das hasn’t crossed 33 in eight innings across formats, culminating in a duck against Afghanistan in the previous game. Some of Bangladesh’s batting woes will go away if he finds form.

Ryan Burl has been something akin to Zimbabwe’s surprise package in this tri-series, having made a rapid, unbeaten fifty against Bangladesh in the first game, and a run-a-ball 25 against Afghanistan. His side would hope for consistency from him in the rest of the series.

Team news

With Soumya Sarkar axed from the squad, Bangladesh may look to hand a T20I debut to Mohammad Naim, the lanky opener who has impressed recently in domestic cricket. If they are willing to be a little adventurous, legspin-bowling allrounder Aminul Islam could be a possible replacement for Sabbir Rahman.

Bangladesh (probable): 1 Mohammad Naim, 2 Liton Das, 3 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Mahmudullah, 6 Sabbir Rahman, 7 Mosaddek Hossain, 8 Afif Hossain, 9 Mohammad Saifuddin, 10 Taijul Islam, 11 Mustafizur Rahman

Zimbabwe can try out Chris Mpofu and Richmond Mutumbami who are yet to play on this tour. Tony Munyonga, the 20-year-old allrounder should get another opportunity as he neither batted nor bowled in his debut against Bangladesh on September 13.

Zimbabwe (probable): 1 Brendan Taylor (wk), 2 Hamilton Masakadza (capt), 3 Craig Ervine, 4 Sean Williams, 5 Tinotenda Mutombodzi, 6 Ryan Burl, 7 Regis Chakabva, 8 Neville Madziva, 9 Kyle Jarvis, 10 Ainsley Ndlovu, Tendai Chatara

Pitch and conditions

Sides batting first have averaged 138 runs in night games at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, but the totals vary wildly: from Netherlands’ 39 all out to South Africa’s 196 for 5.

There is a slight possibility of a shower in the evening.

Stats and trivia

  • Asghar Afghan is now the second Afghanistan player to appear in 50 consecutive T20Is for his country. Mohammad Shahzad tops the overall list with 58 appearances in a row.

  • Mustafizur Rahman is one wicket short of becoming the second Bangladesh bowler to take 50 T20I wickets. Shakib Al Hasan is the overall leader with 90 wickets.

  • Sabbir Rahman is 55 short of becoming the fifth batsman to reach 1,000 T20I runs for Bangladesh.

Quotes

“We know they [Bangladesh] are under pressure, but we have to get the basics right.”
Zimbabwe allrounder Sean Williams on whether this is his side’s best chance to push Bangladesh



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