Changing its earlier stance, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has now decided to allow former Australian captain Steve Smith, who is currently facing a one-year suspension for his involvement in ball-tampering scandal in March last, to play in the ensuing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Cricket beginning on January 5 next.
Smith had earlier inked deal with former BPL champions Comilla Victorians who roped in him outside the player draft. The other franchises of the contest raised objection to Smith’s inclusion, saying it was a violation of BPL by-laws.
Following the objection, BCB had decided not to allow Smith to play for Victorians in the upcoming edition of country’s most prestigious T20 tournament. But BCB has changed its stance just after a week.
BCB has sent a letter to all participating franchises informing Smith’s availability in the BPL, said a source wishing anonymity.
“We’ve received a letter from BCB saying Smith will be available to play for Comilla. Smith will be a replacement for Sri Lanka’s Asela Gunaratne,” the source has confirmed.
Jalal Younus, the chairman of BCB media committee and BPL governing council member, has also confirmed the development.
“We had allowed Smith to play in the BPL earlier, but some franchises opposed the decision because Smith was not in the player draft and as per the rule, no team can replace anyone of their team with a player who is not in the list of the player draft.
“But for the greater interest of the tournament, they’ve withdrawn the objection and we’ve changed our stance allowing Smith in the BPL,” Jalal Younus told UNB.
“Now, any team can replace one of their current players with someone who is not in the list of the player draft. We’ve taken this decision for adding more glamour in the contest,” Jalal Younus further said.
Steve Smith last featured in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) for Barbados Tridents where he played seven matches and scored 185 runs at an average of 26.42 with a fifty to his name. BPL will be Smith’s second biggest tournament after CPL during his suspension. The top-order batsman will be eligible to back to international cricket in next March.unb