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Friday, January 27, 2023

Why Shakib Al Hasan challenges Bangladesh Cricket Board; cites Hindi movie Nayak

The Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) is one of the Twenty 20 (T20) cricket leagues in the world. Nazmul Hassan Papon, the president of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB, has been claiming that BPL is the third most popular cricket in the world after Indian Premier League (IPL) and Big Bash League (BBL) of Australia; But most of the cricketers, audience, and cricket analysts do not accept his claim. BPL is considered the worst cricket league in reality. Shakib Al Hasan also does not consider BPL the third most popular cricket league in the world.

Bangladesh Test and T20 cricket team captain Shakib Al Hasan has said that if he gets the responsibility, he will change and fix everything within one to two months. ‘Where is the standard of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL)?’ Shakib Al Hasan bowed his head and smiled after hearing the question. After that, while answering, he laughed again. Laughing, he said, ‘I have no idea where the standard is.’ The storm of words of Shakib continued for the next few minutes. In essence, BCB has no intention to do anything good with BPL. They failed to establish it as a brand. The Bangladesh Test and T20 captain emphatically claimed that he would be able to fix everything within a month or two if he gets the responsibility.

Even though 11 years have passed since the start of BPL, this tournament has not made a strong position in world cricket. Lack of professionalism is rife here, with years of sloppy organization and numerous mishaps accompanying the tournament. This time too, the name of the title sponsor was not announced even a day before the start of the tournament. It has already been announced that there will be no Decision Review System (DRS) before the last part of the tournament. 

BCB director and Khulna Tigers coach in BPL Khaled Mahmood admitted on Tuesday that many leagues have progressed even after the BPL started. Shakib spoke about these things in an event outside of cricket. As the goodwill ambassador of Gulf Oil, he is performing the symbolic duties of the chief executive of the company for a day on Wednesday. There, the topic of BPL, which is going to start on Friday, came up with various relevant questions in front of the media.

Why BPL could not go anywhere significant in all these years? Hearing this question, Shakib threw a counter question. The answer was mixed in his words, ‘Couldn’t or didn’t want? It’s hard to say I don’t know. I don’t see any reason not to be able to, the potential of Bangladesh. I think we honestly never wanted to do anything like that. That’s why it hasn’t happened yet.’ In countries like Australia, West Indies, where the popularity of cricket is not great, where the cricket market is much smaller than Bangladesh, their franchise T20 league has now managed to create a separate identity. Despite the popularity of cricket in Bangladesh, Shakib sees the weakness of BCB’s marketing ability behind not being able to make BPL attractive. If we could create, add value, surely this market would be much bigger. You won’t see such a remote area even in the countryside, Where cricket is not being played. Just go to a remote area of Bangladesh, there too people are playing cricket with a homemade  bat, and they don’t have a real ball. Not so, it is not popular. In a country of 16-20 crore people where it is such a favorite sport, there will be no market, it is very sad; At least I believe so. From that point of view, I think it was a big failure in the marketing area (of BCB), because of which we could not create a big market.’

Shakib Al Hasan does not see the goodwill of the country’s cricket authorities to put the BPL on a strong foundation. According to him, the organization of Dhaka Premier League is also comparatively more organized and planned. ‘I don’t see anything stopping if there’s a will. If there is goodwill, I see no reason why there should not be a DRS, no draft or auction three months in advance, teams not fixed two months in advance and cricketers available. Now a cricketer will come in one day, leave in two days, who will come and go when, no one knows. Cricketers still don’t get jerseys, I saw in the news. I mean, whatever it is. Our Dhaka Premier League is better than this. Because the team can plan in advance, know in advance what the team can be, work can be done that way. I think, if you talk about the next Premier League, everyone knows whose team it is. I do not understand the exact address of anything in BPL. BPL starts after the match starts.’

This all-rounder, who has played in franchise leagues in different countries of the world, thinks that due to organizational inefficiency and the poor quality of TV broadcasting, there is no standard in BPL cricket, ‘I think, not many countries watch BPL. When it is shown on TV, it may say that it is being telecasted in so many countries. But nobody actually focuses that way. A domestic cricketer from another country, who has not played in the national team, leaving out IPL, say Big Bash, even PSL, CPL, when they do well here, they see, gives them a chance in the national team. No one in foreign countries watches BPL. No one can think of anything that will set the parameters here, ‘BPL is like this, a competitive tournament, there is quality among those who are playing well’. So, it’s disappointing that we’re at this point. Very disappointing.’ The top all-rounder in the ICC T20 rankings said in a confident voice, ‘If he is given the responsibility of BPL, it will not take two months to get everything right, “If I am given the responsibility of the chief executive of BPL, it will not take much time. If too much it will take one to two months maximum to fix everything. It should not take even two months.”

Shakib Al Hasan cited a Hindi movie titled ‘Nayak’ and told, “Have you watched Nayak? A lot can be done in a day. He who can, he always can. Apart from all this, there will be a new draft, auction, BPL in free time, modern technology, broadcast will be good, home and away venues will be there. Apart from all this, there will be a new draft, auction, BPL in free time, modern technology, broadcast will be good, home and away venues will be there.’ He always can. Apart from all this, there will be a new draft, auction, BPL in free time, modern technology, broadcast will be good, home and away venue will be there.’

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