BCB tweaks rule to ensure Smith’s participation in BPL

London: A week after barring banned Australian cricketer Steve Smith from participating in the Bangladesh Premier League, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has tweaked its rules to ensure his engagement in the domestic T20 league.

Smith was signed by Comilla Victorians as a replacement for Sri Lanka’s Asela Gunaratne but according to the BPL rules, replacement players are supposed to be chosen from among the players who were in the draft in the first place and Smith was not a part of the draft.
Other BPL franchises had objected to the development following which it was decided that Smith would not participate in the tournament.

The BCB has now changed the rules of the tournament allowing a team to replace a maximum of one outside-the-draft player with another. BCB director Jalal Younus, who also heads the BPL governing council, said that the decision was a “democratic” one. He further stated that Smith’s inclusion in the league will make it “better, more popular and glamorous.”

“We could have enforced the clause whereby the BPL can take any decision in the interest of the tournament but we wanted to be democratic,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Younus, as saying.

“The franchises didn’t agree at first but now the majority of the franchises have said that Smith’s inclusion can only make the league better, more popular and glamorous. They have given this to us in writing which we conveyed to the BCB. They have agreed too. Now the team can complete his registration,” he added.

Smith, who is serving a 12-month suspension for his role in the massive ball-tampering scandal during a Test series against South Africa in March, is not allowed to participate in international and domestic Australian cricket. He, however, participated in the Global T20 Canada league and the Caribbean Premier League in July-August. Recently, he also led his grade side Sutherland to the New South Wales Premier T20 title.