The BCB has announced a return to the draft system to determine player movements between clubs for the 2017-18 Dhaka Premier League season, which is set to begin on February 5. The transfer process, dubbed 'players-by-choice', will take place on January 20.
The system is a departure from the more free-market process that was in place last season, whereby players could choose clubs based on their payment needs and other preferences.
Now, each of the 12 clubs is allowed to retain five players - an increase from the two that was allowed in 2016, the last time this system was in place. The rest will go into a draft, with lotteries to determine the order in which the clubs will make their picks. In effect, it takes away from the players their freedom to choose clubs; only the clubs can choose the players.
"Two players were retained by each club in the 2016 season," Kazi Inam Ahmed, the league committee chairman, said. "Recently, we have seen that the number of retentions have been increased in BPL. We have discussed this with the DPL clubs and all of them are fine with the decision as they believe five-player retention may provide continuity in their squad. The two new promoted clubs will get five-a-piece call at first."
This is the third time that the BCB has introduced this draft system, after trials in 2013 and 2016. After both instances, the BCB had said that the system will not return and they would revert to the traditional players transfer instead. However, popular demand forced a change, following complaints from several clubs of players demanding exorbitant fees.
Ahmed added that while the clubs will be allowed to retain five players from the previous season, 12 top-grade players, from categories A+ and A, will not be among the retained players.
"We also discussed about not retaining 12 players from A+ and A category. We will make a list of those twelve players soon and will publish it within the next week. So those 12 players will be in draft. There may be a difference in the price attached to those 12 players, but the players will not choose their club. All clubs will have the right to choose the players from the draft."