EIGHT Zimbabwe cricketers have signed up for the players’ draft for the upcoming season of the lucrative Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) to be held in Dhaka tomorrow.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The third edition of the BPL Twenty20 tournament will be held from November 21, two years after it was halted in the wake of a match-fixing scandal.
While the official list of players to feature in the draft is yet to be released, NewsDay Sport can reveal that all-rounder Elton Chigumbura, Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, Craig Ervine and seamer, Christopher Mpofu will be available for selection in the auction.
They are joined by the trio of former Zimbabwe national team players Brendan Taylor, Kyle Jarvis and Sean Ervine, who are now playing county cricket in the United Kingdom.
Out-of-favour national team opening batsman Hamilton Masakadza did not feature on the players’ draft, but could still appear in the tournament after playing at the last edition held in 2013.
The Zimbabwean players are part of a large group of nearly 200 foreign cricketers, who have expressed interest in playing in the BPL despite security risks that forced the Australian team to cancel its tour of that country.
Bangladesh will be hosting the lucrative BPL tournament for the first time, two years after it was first halted in the wake of match-fixing scandals.
The BPL Twenty20 tournament, which started in 2012, was suspended indefinitely after the second edition amid revelations former Bangladesh captain Mohammed Ashraful and four others were involved in fixing matches.
The tournament, which drew talent from around the world, was also tainted by salary issues, including franchises failing to pay match fees to scores of players, which led to the 2014 season of the competition being completely scrapped.
However, Bangladesh cricket authorities are confident of hosting a successful comeback tournament next month, where each franchise will be required to register seven foreigners in total and use a maximum of four internationals in a match.
The highest price bracket for the foreign cricketers is $70 000, while the lowest is $30,000.
Meanwhile, the third season of the BPL will take place after Zimbabwe play one-day internationals and T20s against Bangladesh in November.
Zimbabwe were originally scheduled to visit Bangladesh early next year for two Tests, three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals.
But the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has already confirmed that the series would now be split in two parts.
Zimbabwe would play the limited overs match in November and return in January for the Tests.