BPL franchises say ‘no’ to iconsAtif Azam
The Bangladesh Premier League franchises raised a common voice to scrap the icon player system and to halve the limit of the foreign players’ wages from the next edition of tournament.
They raised the demand during a meeting with BCB president AHM Mustafa Kamal last week as they felt the prevailing system sometimes could cause injustice to certain franchises.
In the inaugural edition of the BPL it was decided that the six icon players of the six franchises will receive five percent more than the highest paid Bangladeshi player.
It finally amounted $210,000 as Khulna Royal Bengals paid Nasir Hossain highest $200,000.
Sylhet Royals were against the rule from the very beginning as they thought their icon Alok Kapali did not deserve the money.
Chittagong Kings icon Tamim Iqbal just played two matches in the competition and scored eight runs in total which also a raised question about his worth.
Kings’ highest-paid foreign player in the tournament was Dwayne Bravo, who received $150,000.
The icon players failed to play an iconic role for the controversial finalists Barisal Burners, who dumped Shahriar Nafees after a few matches because of a dip in form.
While the icon players failed to deliver, Dhaka Gladiators were benefited from a tricky buy of Mashrafee bin Murtaza, who was sold for only $45,000.
Mashrafee was not treated as an icon player despite being a former national captain as he had come back from an injury.
‘We want that there should be no icon players as we felt that a player should get the wage we think he deserves,’ Salim Chowdhury, owner of champions Gladiators, told New Age on Saturday.
‘We felt some of them deserve more while some are not worth it. So we proposed that there should be no icon players and we want to buy the players according to their value,’ said Salim.
The other proposal that the six-franchise placed for discussion at the meeting was the value of the overseas players in the next edition.
They said it should be $250,000 at the maximum as they felt that some of them were over-valued at the BPL auction.
In the BPL each franchise could spend maximum $2 million at the auction.
But the value of some of the overseas players was rocket-high as Gladiators had bought Shahid Afridi for $700,000 while Chris Gayle was bought for $551,000 by the Burners.
Afridi played just one match while Gayle left half-way through the tournament as he had other commitments in South Africa domestic Twenty20 competition.
Though the players were paid only for the matches they were available, the unusual high value for some players forced the franchises to revise their shopping list.
Interestingly, some international players like Gayle and South African Herschelle Gibbs got more money in the BPL than what they were offered in the cash-rich Indian Premier League.
It could be mentioned that the highest salary-cap for players in the Australian Big Bash Twenty20 Tournament is also $250,000.
BPL governing council chairman Gazi Ashraf Hossain said they have got their proposal but have yet to take a decision on it.
‘Franchises had given us certain proposal but nothing has been finalised yet,’ said Ashraf.
‘We have not held a meeting of the BPL governing council. Once it is approved at the meeting we can forward it to the BCB for approval,’ said Ashraf.
The next edition of the BPL could be held in early January subject to the Bangladesh cricket team’s planned tour of India.
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