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Cricket news - Rangpur Riders threaten to quit BPL

BCB has refused to acknowledge Shakib's move from Dynamites to Riders.

Bangladesh Premier League franchise Rangpur Riders have threatened to quit Bangladesh Premier League after the governing council clarified they will seek to establish new agreements having completed the first circle of the tournament that ran for six editions.

Cricbuzz understands that Dhaka Dynamites have been unable to accept the fact Shakib al Hasan opted to join Rangpur Riders. If the next edition does end up having an auction, then Riders won't be able to keep the allrounder and will have to battle it out once again to keep him in their ranks. "We cannot play in this manner," Riders chief executive Ishtiak Sadeque told Cricbuzz on Sunday (August 4) minutes after BCB announced they will go for renewal of the contract with mutual understanding with the existing franchises. If any of the existing franchises decide to discontinue in the tournament, the BPL GC will seek new Expression of interest for those many teams.

"It's not important whether we will continue with BPL or not but it's just not on when we spent 10 to 15 crores BDT every year and they [BPL governing council] keep coming up with different ideas every year," continued Sadeque. "If necessary we will not play because Bangladesh Cricket Board have a lot of teams and let them play with them."

BPL governing council member Mahbub Anam said that they don't acknowledge the agreement between Shakib and Riders and added that they will have an auction for the upcoming edition of BPL that will have a four-year cycle while the retention policy will come into effect from the second year of the cycle. "We cannot acknowledge the agreement [between Shakib and Riders] as we don't have any agreement with any franchise at the moment because if you don't have an agreement with us [BCB] there is no point validating it from our part," he said.

"With the conclusion of the sixth edition of BPL, the first cycle of the tournament is now considered complete, which also marks the expiry of the tenure of the franchise agreements.

"In these circumstances, as per clause 3.1 of the franchise agreements executed between the BCB and the Franchises, with the view to renew the said agreements, the BPL Governing Council will send out immediate invitations to the teams that had participated in the sixth edition for of BPL for a discussion on the issue of renewal of the Franchise Agreement and execution of a fresh contract subject to mutually agreeable terms and conditions."

BCB has also added that governing council has decided that the duration/tenure of the second cycle of the BPL T20 will be for a further period of four editions. In this connection, BCB has already published an advertisement seeking Expression of Interest (EOI) from interested applicants for franchisee rights of two BPL sides since the previous right holder of Chittagong Vikings have informed the governing council about their decision "discontinue as a team" and BCB is also exploring the possibility of adding another new franchise team to the tournament.

The decision to grant franchisee rights to interested applicants will depend on the outcome of the discussion about the renewal of Franchise Agreement and settlement of disputes (if any) with previous right holders to BPL Franchise Teams. "The relevant processes, player draft/auction etc. for holding the next edition of BPL T20 will be set in motion after the execution of the fresh franchisee agreement/contract,'' a BCB press release said.

Riders' claim of changing laws in the BPL can be validated through two emails sent to them in 2016 and 2017 which were obtained by Cricbuzz. In 2016, BCB had sent an email to the franchises that suggested Icon players (Local) are allowed to choose any of the franchise while in 2017 the governing council again changed the law where it stated each BPL franchise can retain a maximum of four local players that included icon player or a player from the A+ category. In 2019, BCB again changed the law stating that each BPL franchise can retain a maximum of four local and/or overseas players (local and overseas categories combined). However, a franchise may retain only one local player from A+ category of the previous Player Draft.

This in effect also means that, if in the sixth edition player draft category A+ list a franchise ends up having two or more local players from its BPL fifth edition roster, then that franchise will be allowed to retain only one of those players. If a franchise does not have any player from its fifth edition squad in Category A+ of the BPL sixth edition list for local players, it may pick one player from the available (not retained by any team) Category A+ list. This inclusion will be categorised as 'retention' and will be completed via mutual understanding between the player and team(s) concerned.

There was always scope for icon players to move and based upon that clause that suggested players can move via mutual understanding and that was the sole reason behind players changing teams frequently. In 2016, Shakib moved from Riders to Dynamites while Mahmudullah joined Khulna Titans from Barisal Bulls and Mushfiqur Rahim joined Bulls from Sylhet Sixers. In 2017, Mashrafe moved to Riders from Comilla Victorians while Tamim moved to Vikings to Victorians along with Mushfiqur moving from Barisal to Rajshahi.

Khulna Titans owner Kazi Inam too was frustrated and added that BPL governing council should have a rule that will run for four years. "I think we need to have specific rules for BPL and it should run for four years. At least, in that case, we can plan better."

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