The Bangladesh Premier League is a professional cricket league based in the cricket-loving nation of Bangladesh. It is one of the three domestic cricket leagues in the country. The BPL is governed jointly by the Bangladesh Cricket Board and the BPL Governing Council. The league is headed by the Chairman of the Governing Council.
The 2018-19 BPL will be the sixth edition of the much anticipated league. The season starts on 5th January 2019 and will end on 5th February. A total of 46 matches will be played during the entire time period in the league.
The current Bangladesh Premier League was formed in 2011 by the Bangladesh Cricket Board, following the suspension of the existent domestic T20 competition, 2009/10 National Cricket League Twenty20. The board decided to introduce a franchise-based league, following the huge success of the Indian Premier League.
A six year deal was signed with Game On Sports Group to establish a franchise-based league. The deal gave the group exclusive management rights to the tournament. In the first edition, the tournament was played across the two cities of Chittagong and Dhaka, but has made strides to become one of the foremost domestic T20 competitions in the world.
The league was struck by a major match-fixing scandal in the 2012-13 season, which saw all the owners of the six original teams suspended, due to constant violations of the league regulations and delays in player's salary handover. A number of players and administrators were handed bans for match-fixing, including former Bangladesh captain, Mohammad Ashraful. The league did not take place in 2014, and was revamped in 2015 with new franchises with with new owners.
The league follows the double round-robin tournament structure, where each team plays every other team in two matches. The four best placed teams in the table qualify for the playoffs and the top two teams have two chances to reach the final.
However, instead of the home and away placement of matches, they are distributed amongst a set of predetermined venues.
A total of seven franchises participate in the competition. The teams are - Chittagong Vikings, Comilla Victorians, Dhaka Dynamites, Khulna Titans, Rajshahi Kings, Rangpur Riders and Sylhet Sixers. Rangpur Riders will be playing as the defending champions in the 2018-19 season.
The teams will be having a cap of four foreign players in the squad instead of the regular five players.
The league is played in four phases and the matches are held in the cities of Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet. In the first phase, 14 matches will be held at Dhaka, followed by 8 matches in Sylhet for the second phase. The third phase is held in Dhaka again for 6 matches while the final phase is held in Chittagong for 10 matches. The playoffs and the final are held in the Dhaka. The cricket stadiums are mentioned below :-
Players to Watch Out For
Chris Gayle will be again playing for the defending champions Rangpur Riders, and the fireworks will be expected from him as usual. Big international names such as AB de Villiers (Rangpur Riders) and David Warner (Sylhet Sixers) will also be on show. However, the participation of Steve Smith hangs by a thread as the Bangladesh Cricket Board has barred the former Aussie captain. He would have featured for the Comilla Victorians.