Uncertainty over Steven Smith’s participation in BPL

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The participation of Steven Smith for the upcoming Bangladesh Premier League hangs in balance with franchises expressing reservation over his inclusion. Smith was signed up by Comilla Victorians as a replacement for Asela Gunaratne. However, the problem with Smith’s inclusion is that he was picked from outside the draft, which goes against the laws of the BPL. The matter has now been referred to the Bangladesh Cricket Board.
“We have referred the issue to the Bangladesh Cricket Board,” Jalal Yunus, the BPL technical committee chairman, told Cricbuzz on Tuesday (December 11) following a meeting with the franchises. “At first Rangpur Riders raised the issue but later other franchises joined them and informed about their reservation. So it turned out difficult for us to solve so we referred the issue to the board to solve it. We will take the decision in the next board meeting or we will inform it to them [Victorians] soon.
“To be honest they are not entitled to take any player outside the draft if they are replacing someone. They have to take it from the draft (in case a player is being replaced) but we obliged to their request of recruiting Steven Smith taking larger picture into consideration. But now it seem that cannot be implemented after the objection of other franchises unless BCB comes up with any other solution,” Yunus added.
The Australian was supposed to arrive after the departure of Malik, who will join the Pakistan team for the limited-overs leg of their series against South Africa which begins from January 19.
Smith, along with fellow Australian David Warner, is currently serving a 12-month ban for his role in the ball-tampering controversy in the Cape Town Test. Warner joined Sylhet Sixers for the upcoming edition of BPL and was named as the captain of the team.