A tearful Nafisa Kamal, owner of Bangladesh Premier League franchise Comilla Victorians (BPL), said yesterday the franchise were shocked by the Bangladesh Cricket Board’s (BCB’s) decision to stage the seventh edition of the tournament without the involvement of the franchises.
BCB president Nazmul Hassan informed of the development during a press conference on Wednesday, citing what he termed were unacceptable demands made by the franchises.
According to Nafisa, they did not have the chance to renegotiate with the BPL governing council (GC) members about their demands and the franchise were not informed about the decision before learning of it through the media.
“The last decision during the meeting was that we were going to get a draft on September 15 and they (BPL GC) said they were compiling the proposals after considering our recommendations. We have held meetings with the board (BCB governing body), we had some demands for the sake of cricket. I think there is a huge communication gap and I think the process has not been followed. I think we should have been informed a few days earlier or even a few hours before the media that they were not able to accept our demands this time. But we had no idea we had to pay such a heavy fine. There is always a space for proposals. This should not happen in our professional cricket body,” Nafisa told reporters at her office yesterday.
In early August, four months before the tournament is slated to begin on December 6, the board announced that the seventh edition would kick off a new four-year cycle, which meant that off-season signings and existing rosters would be null and void. That set off a series of discussions with the franchises, whose demands included a new revenue sharing model.
The board is now set to launch the seventh edition on their own and name it after Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to mark his 100th birth anniversary.
Nafisa said that they wanted to be a part of the Bangabandhu BPL and was looking forward to discuss the matter with the board to look for a resolution. She said that the recent developments would hamper the image of the tournament.
“Even [former Pakistan all-rounder] Shahid Afridi called me today. Some of the cricketers have abandoned other commitments to play in the BPL and now all of a sudden there is no place for us in the tournament. Afridi wanted to know whether the news was correct. The foreign players are asking that having finalised the contract, how could we reverse course? There is no chance for them to take part in the next edition and said that there is no certainty around the BPL as the tournament is yet to reach professionalism. We have an obligation to our fans and we want to play in the tournament, and so we want BCB to reconsider their decision,” said Nafisa.