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BPL likely to be delayed due to general elections

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The Bangladeshi general election, to be held later this year, could result in a postponement of the 2018-19 season of the Bangladesh Premier League. The tournament was originally expected to begin in October this year. But Ismail Haider Mallick, member secretary of the BPL’s governing council, said on Wednesday that providing security would be challenging, as most of the country’s forces would be busy at the time. They are now instead eyeing the January window.

“Just before the election, it would be tough to provide security to the seven teams in three venues,” Mallick told Prothom Alo. “If we don’t get sufficient security, we will have to hold the tournament after the elections. We can arrange it in January.”

Some of the BPL team owners will be directly involved in the elections. Owners of Khulna Titans, Rajshahi Kings, Sylhet Sixers and Comilla Victorians are Members of Parliament or ministers in the current government, but Mallick said that team’s security is more important to them.

“Some of the franchise owners will be involved in the election, but we are more focused on the security. If we cannot provide every team with enough police or security forces, it becomes hard for us. I think we will take a decision in a week, but there’s likelihood of a delay.”

A delayed BPL will have an effect on Bangladesh’s international calendar, with Zimbabwe scheduled to tour the country for three Tests and three ODIs in January. That could now be pushed to October, although Zimbabwe will be in South Africa till at least mid-October.

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