Cricket is one of Bangladesh’s most popular sports. The country has consistently produced excellent cricketers who have played and still play at high-level competitions. Also, it has ranked for decades among the top cricketing nations worldwide. However, while Bangladesh has been a cricketing behemoth on the international stage for a long time, it was only recently that it created what appears to be her top domestic cricket league today.
Bangladesh’s domestic cricket structure has recently undergone a series of overhauls to uplift the sport’s standard and produce world-beating players. The establishment of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) introduction was a major player in this restructuring. This league aimed to create a system to discover and develop upcoming players nationwide. It will also make them excel in this sport by allowing them to train frequently, interact with coaches and other specialists, test themselves against high-quality opposition, and access first-grade facilities. In essence, the league is an avenue for the country’s cricket body to ensure the best players are playing representative cricket internationally while also giving them a high-quality competition that tests their talent and fitness.
The premier league format of domestic cricket is a relatively recent concept in Bangladesh. The format and squad structure have evolved over time, but it remains popular with fans, players, and sponsors alike. The first Premier League match took place in 2012 and has been an annual event since. Today, the league ranks 16th among the most-watched premier leagues worldwide.
The recent soar in popularity of the league has also gathered attention in the worldwide betting market, where bettors can wager on any BPL match of their choice. You can click here to bet on BPL or any other favorite cricket game.
That said, let’s delve into the brief history of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
Early Days of the League
Before the start of the BPL in 2012, the country already had a variety of domestic cricket competitions. The success of top T20 cricket leagues, such as the Indian Premier League (IPL), was one major factor that prompted the BPL’s establishment, as the Bangladesh Cricket Board chose to follow in the footsteps of the IPL by launching a similar league.
In theory, plans to officially establish the league as a replacement for the country’s former National Cricket League were finalized in 2011. The league did not, however, officially begin until the following year, in February, with only six teams available to compete. The first season ended with Dhaka Gladiators winning the title by eight wickets over Barisal Burners in an action-packed final. They won the league again the following season and again in 2016.
Development and Expansion
The next league season saw another team, Rangpur Riders, added. As a newcomer, Rangpur Riders ended the season with five wins and seven losses, and they tied on points with Duronto Rajshahi.
One of the season’s defining moments was the dismal match-fixing controversy, which resulted in the suspension of the owners of the league’s six pioneer teams. Some players and administrators, including Bangladesh’s former captain, Mohammad Ashraful, were also banned for the same issue. In addition to match-fixing, the owners were accused of breaking league rules and delaying the payment of players’ salaries. Dhaka Gladiators’ ownership body suffered the harshest punishment, receiving a lifetime suspension by the league’s governing body.
This disappointing set of events stopped the league from returning the following season in 2014. Notwithstanding, the BPL returned in 2015 with only six teams. Following the conclusion of that season, in which the Comilla Victorians won the league title, one other team, the Sylhet Super Stars, was again suspended from the league for violating the league’s disciplinary regulations.
Two more new teams were added to the league before the start of the following season in 2016, bringing the total number of teams in the competition back to seven. However, the following season, which saw the Sylhet Superstars return to the league as the Sylhet Sixers, also saw the suspension of another team, the Barisal Bulls, due to financial issues.
Overall, BPL’s development has been marred by numerous disruptive events, such as bans and rescinding of ownership. Despite these interruptions, the league has held annually since the 2014 break.
Today, the Bangladesh Premier League is played among seven teams:
- Chattogram Challengers
- Fortune Barishal
- Dhaka Gladiators
- Khulna Tigers
- Rangpur Riders
- Sylhet Strikers
- Comilla Victorians.
The Comilla Victorians are the current champions of the league. Along with the Dhaka Gladiators, they have also won the most league titles (3). The league has run for eight seasons, with the next season set to begin in January 2023.
Since its inception, the BPL has seen many changes, restructuring, and ups and downs. Nevertheless, it remains the most prestigious cricket league in Bangladesh and has helped boost the country’s image among other cricketing nations. Following the conclusion of this year’s edition, fans anticipate the league’s return next year. Don’t forget to visit Parimatch to bet on any BPL matches or any other cricket game of your choice.