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Spectacular opening ceremony marks start of Bangladesh's cricket league

02-10-2012 13:09 BJT

DHAKA, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman on Thursday night announced the launch of the first edition of the country's professional Twenty20 cricket tournament named Bangladesh Premier League or BPL at a spectacular ceremony in capital Dhaka.

A host of famous singers, dancers and performers enchanted thousands of spectators in Dhaka's Shere-e Bangla Cricket Stadium during the about three-hour spectacular opening ceremony which rounded off by an eye-catching laser show and firework brought in from China and India.

The Twenty20 BPL is set to start on Friday with a double round robin group stage, in which each of the 6 teams will play against every other team twice. These matches will followed by two semifinals and a final which is to be played on Feb. 29.

Matches will be held in Dhaka and Chittagong, some 242 southeast of capital city, with a total of six franchises consisting of players from around the world.

The franchises will represent Bangladesh's six divisional cities namely Dhaka, Barisal, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Sylhet and Khulna.

A total of 111 overseas players and 80 local cricketers were put on auction with the teams -- Dhaka Gladiators, Khulna Royal Bengals,Chittagong Kings, Barisal Burners, Duronto Rajshahi and Sylhet Royals -- given a maximum budget of 2 million U.S. dollars and able to buy no more than eight overseas players.

Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi was the most expensive of the international stars sold at the auction for the BPL last month.

Afridi, also former Pakistan captain, hit the jackpot, fetching 700,000 U.S. dollars in a secret bidding process but he later pulled out of the tournament due to his national duty.

The base price of a foreign player from the A category was 100,000 U.S.dollars, B category 50,000 U.S. dollars and C category 25,000 U.S.dollars while the base price for a local cricketer from the A category has been fixed at 45,000 U.S. dollars, B category 30,000 U.S. dollars and C category 20,000 U.S. dollars.

Every team will be able to use up to five foreign cricketers in a match.

On opening day on Friday Barisal Burners will play Sylhet Royals and Chittagong Kings take on Duronto Rajshahi.

Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: Xinhua

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