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David Warner and Steve Smith are just a couple of the names featuring the sixth edition of the BPL, and The Cricketer has all the information you need to follow what should be a barnstorming tournament...
The Bangladesh Premier League is Bangladesh’s franchise 20-overs-a-side competition.
The tournament starts on January 5, with the playoffs beginning on February 2 and the final scheduled for February 8.
There are seven teams that take part in the competition:
The tournament initially begins in a league stage, with 42 matches being played overall and each team playing 12 games separately. Each team receives two points for a win and 1 point for a no result.
The top four teams then qualify for the playoffs, and from there the final.
All matches will be played at three venues – Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet.
The team with the most BPL titles is the Dhaka Dynamites, who were previously known as the Dhaka Gladiators. They last won the tournament back in in 2017, but the current champions are the Rangpur Riders who beat the Dynamites in the final by 57 runs in 2018.
Chris Gayle was the big player for the Riders as he finished the tournament as the leading run-scorer and bagged the player of the series award. He is back again this year, and has also been joined by the equally destructive AB de Villiers.
Chris Gayle was the leading run-scorer in the 2017-18 Bangladesh Premier League
The BPL follows the standard T20 format, with bowlers allotted a maximum of four overs each. In each innings the first six overs constitute a powerplay with no more than two fielders allowed outside the 30-yard circle.
For any no balls bowled, the batting team will be rewarded with two runs, as well as a free hit for any no-ball that isn’t called for being a short-pitched delivery that passes over head-height of the batsman.
For this edition of the BPL, two major changes have been made. This will the first time the tournament has seen the use of the DRS system, with each team getting one review per inning. It will also now be mandatory to have one foreign umpire in every match.
Apart from the aforementioned Gayle and de Villiers, the biggest story is the fact that David Warner and Steve Smith will both feature in the tournament. Both players are currently serving bans for their part in the ball-tampering scandal.
Warner will be captaining the Sylhet Sixers, while Smith will, after a lot of toing and froing, be playing for the Comilla Victorians.
The Victorians won the tournament in 2016, but the Sixers have never made the final, so it will be interesting to see what Warner can bring. Moreover, with both of their bans finishing at the end of March, this could be a good indicator to see where the pair are ahead of the World Cup in June.
All 46 of the Bangladesh Premier League matches will be broadcast via FreeSports, with most of the matches being shown live (Freeview: 64, Sky: 422, Virgin: 553, Freesat: 252, TalkTalk: 64. BT: 64)