Chigumbura linked to Bangladesh Premier League


Explosive cricket all-rounder Elton Chigumbura and several other national team players are being linked with the first edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) which takes place from February 9-29, NewsDay Sport has learnt.

The 20-day tournament will feature six teams that will play each other twice in a round-robin format over 33 matches to be held in Chittagong and Dhaka.

Teams will be allowed to field five foreign players in their XIs, as opposed to four in the Indian Premier League. Several local players are tipped to feature in the players auction to be held on January 19 in Dhaka.

Chigumbura, whose century inspired Mashonaland Eagles to a seven-wicket win over Mountaineers at Harare Sports Club yesterday, confirmed the possible move to yesterday.

The 25-year-old former Zimbabwe skipper, however, emphasised he would only consider making the move after national team assignments.

Nothing has been confirmed as yet, but its true organisers of the tournament are keen to sign me as well as some Zimbabwean players.

Personally I would be keen to play there (Bangladesh) for the exposure as it will feature a lot of world-class players, but only after fulfilling my national team obligations, said Chigumbura.

Zimbabwes tour of New Zealand which begins on January 21 ends on February 11, two days after the start of the 20-day tournament.

Besides Chigumbura, other local players who could feature in the tournament include Zimbabwe skipper Brendan Taylor, Ray Price and Tatenda Taibu who once played club cricket in the sub-continent nation in 2005 and Brian Vitori, only to mention a few.

On the international scene, former Australian opening batsman Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden, Kieron Pollard, Matt Prior, Dwayne Bravo and Kamran Akmal are among at least 25 foreign players who have made themselves available for the tournament.

Sources in Bangladesh told NewsDay Sport yesterday that Game on Sports, the tournament organisers, were keen to have Zimbabwean players featuring in the tournament.

There is a list of 80 foreign players who have been earmarked for the auction. Although the primary list is yet to be finalised, there are a lot of Zimbabwean players.

In fact, some have signed pre-auction contracts with the event management company Game on Sports which is organising the tournament, said the source.

The BPL will be televised on a new sports channel in Bangladesh and organisers are also hoping the winner of the BPL will be given a place in the Champions League Twenty20 next year.