The Rangpur Riders claim’ of changing laws can be traced back to the emails sent by the governing council to the franchises since 2016. As per emails obtained by Cricbuzz, the BCB had sent an email to the franchises that suggested Icon players (Local) are allowed to choose any of the franchise. In 2017 the governing council 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.
All of this came into play for the Riders regarding the purchase of Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan. With the new franchise agreements, and a player auction set to take place, the Riders will have to battle it out to retain their icon player again.
“We cannot play in this manner. 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. If necessary we will not play because Bangladesh Cricket Board have a lot of teams and let them play with them,” Riders chief executive Ishtiak Sadeque told Cricbuzz on Sunday.
However, the governing council, represented by member Mahbub Anam, dismissed the comments right away.
“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. 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,” Anam said.
A BCB press released said that the player draft will be subject to franchise agreements being reached.
Meanwhile, Khulna Titans owner Kazi Inam too expressed his frustration over the rules swaying back and forth.
“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,” Inam said.