The Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) has come under criticism from Shakib Al Hasan, who stated that the tournament might be inferior to the Dhaka Premier League, Bangladesh's domestic one-day competition. Shakib made these comments just two days before the start of the new season.
When asked what changes he would make if he were in charge of the BPL, Shakib pointed out the various issues the league faces, particularly this year. He stated that he would have ensured a timely players' draft and a schedule that did not overlap with other T20 leagues.
It is clear that Shakib believes there are significant improvements that need to be made to the BPL in order to bring it up to the same level as other top T20 leagues. His comments will likely spark debate and discussion among fans and officials alike.
"If they made me the BPL CEO, it would take me one or two months to correct everything. You have seen the movie Nayak right? If you want to do something, you can do it in one day. I would do the players' draft and auction (on time) and hold the BPL during my free time. We will have all the modern technologies. There will be quality broadcast and home and away venues."
BPL has faced delays in selecting owners for its franchises and conducting its player draft, leading to a shortage of top talent for the league. Many of the players who have been signed for the BPL will also be unavailable for the full season, a fact that has disappointed Shakib Al Hasan. The BPL is set to take place in the same January-February window as the UAE's International League T20 and South Africa's SA20, both of which have signed many of the top players.
"I don't see what's stopping us if we have the willingness (to correct things). If we are willing, I don't see any reason not to have the DRS, the draft or auction not being held three months in advance, or the teams wouldn't be confirmed two months in advance. The players are only available for one or two matches. Nobody really knows for how long they are available."
Shakib Al Hasan has stated that the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) may be inferior to the Dhaka Premier League, a domestic one-day competition that has been in operation for nearly five decades. He provided an example to support this assessment.
"I saw in the news that the jersey is not ready. It is a messy situation. Maybe our DPL is more organised. They can arrange the team ahead of time. They know what their team is going to be. Every DPL team knows who is playing where for the next edition.
"We don't really know what's going in the BPL. It only starts when the BPL matches start. The tournament starts on January 6. There's no BPL before that. Before this, everyone is practising on their own."
Shakib Al Hasan has pointed out that the tournament has never been effectively marketed, even within Bangladesh, where cricket is the most popular sport.
"There's no market because we never created the market. If we could have added value to this market, it would have been really big. Cricket is played everywhere in this country, even in remote villages.
"It is a very popular sport in a country of 160-180 million, so I don't believe there can't be a market for cricket here. It is a huge failure in terms of marketing."
Shakib Al Hasan has noted that, despite the BPL being televised in various countries, performances in the tournament are not seen as being as significant as those in the Caribbean Premier League or the Pakistan Super League.
"They show a list of countries where the BPL is telecast, but nobody really watches the tournament. When an uncapped player does well in PSL or CPL, they get a national call-up. It doesn't happen when they play in the BPL. It is quite disappointing that we have remained at this stage."