Shakib expresses frustrations over BPL’s drop in standards

by  Atif Azam  •  Published on Wed, Jan 4, 2023, 09:41 PM

Bangladesh’s leading all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan lamented the failure of the tournament organisers to turn the Bangladesh Premier League into one of the world’s leading T20 competitions. Two days ahead of the ninth edition, Shakib suggested that not enough efforts were made to turn the BPL into one of the most successful leagues.

“I don’t know about the standard of BPL,” Shakib told reporters when his attention was drawn regarding the standard of the tournament that is losing its charm with each passing year. “It is difficult to say whether we could not or didn’t want (to make it successful). I don’t see any reason not to do if we want with the possibility we have in Bangladesh. I think we’ve never wanted to do anything honestly.

“There is no market (for BPL) because we could not create a market for it because if we could add value to it certainly this market would have been a big one. You won’t find any remote area where cricket is not played. You go to the remotest area and even there people play cricket with a bat and a ball. So it is not a fact that it doesn’t have popularity. So it is difficult to believe there is no market in a country with the population of 16 to 20 Crore where the sport has such a popularity. So this is a big failure from a marketing point of view because that is the reason we could not create a market like it (IPL),” he said.

Shakib also added that he was not aware about the lack of DRS in the BPL and stated that the DPL, the country’s traditional club-based 50-over tournament, is better organized than BPL.

“I don’t know why (there is no DRS) probably there is a budget crisis. I don’t see any reason why we don’t have DRS or a draft or auction before three months. Now a player will come and then will leave after one or two days. No one knows who will come and go when. The players did not get their outfits. I saw these in your news. The situation is very bad. I think our Dhaka Premier League (DPL) maybe is better than this (BPL) because they get time to prepare the team at least. They know what is happening in the team, so that they can prepare accordingly. If you see next year’s DPL everyone knows who is playing for which team. We don’t understand anything about BPL and it gets started after the match is played.

Expressing his frustrations, Shakib also noted that the local players do not get due recognition even if they fare well in the tournament due to the lack of interest on a global scale. “No (the BPL performers are not counted globally) because I don’t think a lot of countries sees it ( BPL) though we see that it is telecasted in a lot of countries.

“A player who hasn’t played in the national team if he does well in Big Bash or PSL, let me keep the IPL out of count or CPL, when they do well there you will see they are given chances in the national team but BPL is not followed abroad and so there is no parameter that will be set like this is such a competitive tournament where players who are performing here have quality and no one thinks like that and it is disappointing. We are still in this stage and it’s very disappointing.

Shakib added that if he is made CEO of the tournament, then he would set everything in order in a matter of two months. “If I am given the responsibility of BPL’s CEO, I will not take a long time to make everything right. I think it will take one or two months, maximum two months but even that won’t be required. Two months is a long time.

“Have you seen the movie ‘Nayak’ (Bollywood movie)? A lot of things can be done in a day. I would start everything from scratch. Have a new draft and auction. BPL will be held in free time and the modern technology will be made available. There will be a nice broadcast with home and away venues.”

However, Sheikh Sohel, the BPL governing council chairman, expressed his displeasure with Shakib’s statements. “As a contracted player he cannot make such a statement,” he told Cricbuzz. “There is a BPL governing council for judging this and because he made such a statement let us hear it straight (from him) and later we will respond.

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