The bidding prices of the local players during the auction of the second edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), till a certain extent, did overshadow the international players. It was a case which should have ideally pleased majority of the local cricketers. However, despite the high bids, there seemed to be a sense of vulnerability that prevailed throughout the auction.
The worry was escalated later in the night, when members of the BPL Governing Council stated that they didn't receive the bank guarantee from a number of franchisees. As per the new rules of the league, the franchisees were supposed to pay 25 per cent of the player's payment after the auctions. The fact that that didn't take place remains a concern and reminds one of the improper management during the first edition of the tournament which led to problems varying through a large degree.
In fact, most of the press conferences that took place during the breaks of the auction reflected a certain amount of restlessness, with the media still asking questions regarding the problems that originated from last year.
"The media has portrayed us as the villains," said Salim Chowdhury, owner of the Dhaka Gladiators. "I have cleared most of my dues to the players and while there is a little left, it will be given in time. In fact Dhaka Gladiators still have to receive money from various places. The media don't talk about that," claimed Chowdhury.
While Chowdhury reassured the media, owner of the Chittagong Kings Sameer Quader Chowdhury, on the other hand, played down the dispute with left-hander Tamim Iqbal which dominated last year's league, and stated, "I tried to buy him again, but couldn't."
A similar feature was witnessed in the national cricketers' approach as well. "I only received 65 lakhs from last year's competition and I still have to receive a lot more," said Nasir Hossain in a telephonic conversation with The Daily Star. The all-rounder who was bought for 208,000 dollars by the Rangpur Riders, one of the highest buys yesterday, provided a more reserved approach as compared to his celebratory mode last year after he was bought for 200,000 dollars by Khulna. "I feel alright. The deal was not so bad," replied Nasir when asked about how he felt.
Pacer Mashrafe Bin Mortaza who was retained by the Gladiators for 141,000 dollars, echoed Hossain's sentiments. "There has to be transparency while dealing with money. The previous experience of many cricketers isn't good. So everybody is worried because of this. Commitments must be kept," said Mortaza. "I hope the incidents that took place last year don't recur," he added.
However, with no official agreements signed between the franchisees, the Bangladesh Cricket Board and Game On Sports as yet, fears of a similar backlash continue to prevail amongst many.