Heavy rains forces start of BPL 2016 to be postponed to November 8
Saturday's matches will be played at a later date while confusion prevails over the status of the two fixtures washed out on Friday.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have taken an unprecedented step by announcing that the 2016 edition of its T20 league – The Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) – which has seen the first four games being abandoned without a ball being bowled, will now restart on November 8 with the games to go ahead as per the original schedule while the games which had been scheduled for November 5 & 6 to be played at a later date.
There has however been no information regarding the status of the opening day matches that were washed out due to the relentless rain in the capital city of Dhaka and surrounding areas caused by a depression in the Bay of Bengal. With the weather forecast not looking in favour of the possibility of the matches scheduled for Sunday to happen either, the BCB has taken the call to restart the league at a later date by which the rains is expected to subside.
The decision of the BCB was conveyed to the media persons at a hastily arranged press conference by BPL governing committee secretary Ismail Haider Mallick on Saturday after it was revealed that the fourth match of the tournament had also been washed out.
The BPL has gone a long way from the highly controversial inaugural edition in 2012 which was marred by allegations of match-fixing that landed former Bangladesh skipper Mohammad Ashraful in a bad spot after he was found guilty of the charge.
Heading into its fourth edition now, the BPL is one of the major T20 leagues around the world attracting world-class T20 talent across the globe like West Indies’ duo of Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo as well as Sri Lankan legends Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, both of whom have signed up for Dhaka Dynamites.
The franchise from the capital city is expected to feature in the inaugural match of the 2016 BPL as per the revamped schedule but there could also be a possibility that defending champions Comilla Victorians, who is also set to compete on November 8 in the second match scheduled for the day against Barisal Bulls, could be given the opportunity to kick-off the T20 league considering their status as reigning champions.
The Mashrafe Mortaza-led side has already seen two matches being washed out and while Saturday’s match against Dhaka Dynamites has been confirmed to be played on one of the off-days originally allotted, the possibility of their match against Rajshahi Kings as well as the match between Rangpur Riders and Khulna Titans will depend on whether the concerned franchises reach an agreement on replaying the matches that was abandoned on Friday.