Irregularities and the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) go hand in hand and every year, in one way or the other, controversies rock the tournament.
This season - the eighth edition of the competition - has been no different.
In fact, the tournament hit the headlines even before the first ball of the tournament was bowled.
The overseas players and coaching staff arriving from abroad did not follow the Covid-19 protocols at all and as many as 21 positive cases before the first match put the tournament in doubt.
But the BPL was underway on time but controversies did not stop chasing the tournament.
Let us take a look at some of the irregularities and controversies that have hogged the limelight so far.
Sudden change in Dhaka's ownership
Days before the players' draft of the BPL, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced the names of the companies that would own the six teams participating in the tournament. BCB's press release suggested that the Dhaka-based team would be owned by Rupa Fabrics Ltd & Marn Steel Ltd (Consortium). But it lost the ownership due to failure to pay the fees within the stipulated time. The decision came less than 24 hours before the draft. Then the BCB took charge of the team, selected the players in the draft and handed over the ownership to the Minister Group.
Naeem replaces Miraz as captain, hours before toss
Mehidy Hasan Miraz captained Chattogram Challengers in their first four outings and the team won two of them. Miraz led from the front and at that point was the leading wicket-taker of the tournament. But just before their match against Sylhet Sunrisers, it was known that Naeem Islam would skipper the team in place of Miraz but the latter would continue to be part of the team. The Chattogram management then stated that their [departing] head coach Paul Nixon suggested a leadership change because of some internal problems.
Miraz about to leave team hotel
Following his removal from captaincy of the Chattogram team, Mehidy Hasan Miraz felt humiliated and decided to leave for Dhaka from Chattogram. He said that Nixon, the head coach, never suggested the removal of him and it was a decision influenced by the Chief Operating Officer (COO) Yasir Alam. Miraz had already sent a letter to the BCB, saying that he would not take further part in the tournament due to his 'mother's illness'. Miraz was unhappy with Yasir's behaviour and almost set out for Dhaka. The all-rounder was then talked out of his decision and in a press conference later in the evening he said that 'all was well' between them but he would not agree to be the captain of the team.
Taskin threatens to quit if not given full payment
Taskin Ahmed was a direct signing of the Sylhet Sunrisers team. The team roped him in when he was in New Zealand with the national team. Just days after Chattogram's captaincy debacle, Taskin Ahmed threatened to quit playing if he had not received the full payment. The BCB here had to intervene too and settle the issue. Later Taskin said that the communication gap between the franchise owner and him led to the 'misunderstanding'. As a direct signing, the pacer expected to receive the full payment before the start of the tournament. However, Taskin sustained an injury just after that and was ruled out of the tournament.
Second Chattogram captain down, Afif replaces Naeem
Naeem Islam replaced Mehidy Hasan Miraz as Chattogram's skipper but the former was not performing at either with the bat or the ball which prompted the Chattogram management to change captaincy. Afif Hossain became the third Chattogram captain in the BPL-8. The all-rounder had the experience of captaining in T20s just a couple of times before this tournament. Not many times you would see a team having as many as three captains in a single tournament given there are no injury issues.
Bopara comes out at the toss, team sheet suggests otherwise
Mosaddek Hossain led the Sylhet Sunrisers team for the most part in the BPL but on 7 February, Ravi Bopara turned up at the toss for Sylhet as the captain. The team did not give any prior notice or reason for the captaincy change. Interestingly, Bopara was spotted while 'altering the condition of the ball' during the match and Sylhet were immediately docked five runs. What was more interesting was that the team sheet suggested that Mosaddek Hossain was the captain of Sylhet but on the field, it was Bopara. In that match, Bopara did not bring Nazmul Islam Apu, their strike bowler, into the attack despite the other bowlers being taken to the cleaners.