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BPL 2019: Steve Smith granted permission to take part in T20 tournament

He will replace Sri Lankan cricketer Asela Gunaratne.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith (Photo by Brenton Geach/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

After the General Elections in the country, which is set to take place on Sunday, December 30, led to the postponement of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) to the next year, the T20 tournament is set to get underway on Saturday, January 5 with the contest between defending champions Rangpur Riders and Chittagong Vikings at the renowned Sher-E-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka.

The draft for the extravaganza took place a couple of months ago and a number of players were picked. In the meantime, it has been learned that Steve Smith, who is currently serving a year-long ban from Cricket Australia (CA) is set to grace his presence for the Comilla Victorians in the upcoming edition of the BPL. He is set to replace Asela Gunaratne as per reports in www.bdcrictime.com.

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Drama pertaining to Smith’s selection

Previously, there was confusion surrounding Smith’s participation in the event and it lasted for quite a few days. The New South Wales-born wasn’t a part of the drafts and hence, wasn’t eligible to play. The franchises mentioned that picking a player outside of the draft is against the laws after which the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) barred 29-year-old from taking part in the next BPL.

In another twist in the tale, the country’s cricket board sent a mail to the other teams, mentioning that Smith can play. Moreover, BCB also allowed the other teams to pick one player outside the drafts following the BPL Governing Council’s recommendation. Smith is all set to join David Warner, who would be playing for Sylhet Sixers, who weren’t able to qualify for the playoffs last season.

The Victorians had a decent campaign last time around. They finished at the top of the points table with nine wins from 12 matches. However, the team, captained by Tamim Iqbal, lost to Rangpur Riders in the second Qualifier in Dhaka and subsequently bowed out of the tournament. The Victorians won the tournament back in 2015 under the leadership of the evergreen Mashrafe Mortaza.

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