Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood will replace Darren Sammy of the West Indies for Sylhet Royals in Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
Sylhet decided to take Azhar Mahmood, an unsold Category A player, with his base price of US$ 1 lakh as Sammy opted out of BPL, said Sylhet franchise CEO Uday Hakim. Darren Sammy, who was sold US$ 55,000 during the auction on Friday turned down to play in the inaugural edition of BPL due to his busy schedule.
Uday Hakim, also a senior deputy director of Walton group said, “We formed a team with least budget. When Sammy refused to play in BPL we took Azhar Mahmood. With him there were four Pakistani players in our team.”
“We had to spend more US$45,000 to take Azhar Mahmood. We took four Pakistani players because of having their experience,” Hakim said while answering to a query.
When the BPL will be started in Bangladesh, the Four Day Tournament of the regional cricket board of the West Indies will be started. Even they have a series with Australia in the mid-August.
An AFP report adds: Sammy said he was flattered to be linked with the tournament, which starts next month, but he had opted to put his own country’s domestic and international commitments first.
“I am both humbled and honoured by this recognition of me as a professional cricketer,” Sammy said in a statement.
“I have discussed with my family and given much thought and consideration to the offer and regrettably I have informed the BPL and the Sylhet Royals that I am unable to accept it at this stage.
“While I enjoyed playing cricket in front the enthusiastic and passionate Bangladeshi fans the BPL’s schedule clashes with that of the West Indies Cricket Board’s Regional 4 Day Tournament.