Bangladesh Premier League cricket is back, and after a year's hiatus, fans can watch live online for free each day beginning November 22 as the BPL opens what is already shaping up as a dramatic and exciting third season of T20 cricket.
The return of the BPL comes at a peak moment for Bangladesh cricket, and features numerous stars of the nation's national team, as well as up-and-coming Bangladesh stars of the future — as well as a packed roster of overseas cricket talent on the squads of all six 2015 Bangladesh Premier League teams.
Watch highlights of the 2015 Bangladesh Premier League Match Nine, Sylhet Superstars vs. Rangpur Riders, in the video above, on this page.
Modeled after the wildly successful Indian Premier League, the Bangladesh version includes six teams rather than eight, but they play the same double round-robin format as the IPL — plus a four-game playoff series culminating in the BPL final on December 15 — 34 matches in all.
Unlike the latest edition of the IPL, in which franchise teams played in their own home city stadiums, the BPL takes place in only two locations. The first six days of the tournament, with two 20-overs matches per day, takes place at Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka. After that, the competition moves to MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong for eight more matches over four days.
After that, the BPL moves back to Dhaka where the final 10 matches of the round-robin take place, followed by the playoff series for which the league's top four finishers qualify.
To find out how to watch both Bangladesh Premier League 2015 T20 cricket matches live online for free, see the streaming link in the final paragraph of this article. The first match is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. local time. The second game of the doubleheader is set to begin at 6:45 p.m. local time.
For United States viewers, those start times translate to 3 a.m. Eastern Time for the first match — midnight Pacific — and 7:45 a.m. Eastern, 4:45 a.m. Pacific, for the second game of the day.
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Coming off a season missed due to allegations of match-fixing that marred the 2012 edition of the BPL, this year's revived competition has already encountered controversy, when Pakistan star batsman Mohammed Hafiz turned down a offer to play for Chittagong when he found out that countryman Mohammad Amir was also on the roster.
Amir was one of three Pakistan national cricket players ensnared in separate match-fixing — actually, spot-fixing, in this case — allegations stemming from play during the 2010 Pakistan tour of England.
But though Hafeez won't appear on a BPL roster this year, the league has attracted an impressive list of top overseas talent, including Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara for the Dynamites, West Indies Stars Darren Sammy and Chris Gayle — for Rangpur and the Barisal Bulls, respectively — and Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq, also on the Rangpur side.
Several of the biggest names from the Bangladesh national team, which just last week completed its fifth ODI series victory in a row after its first-ever qualification for the World Cup knockout stage in March, have joined Premier League teams as well.
Bangladesh opening batsman Tamim Iqbal (pictured at the top of this page) features for Chittagong, top al-rounder Shakib Al Hasan captains Rangpur, and 20-year-old fast bowling sensation Mustafizur Rahman will be taking wickets for Dhaka.
To watch Bangladesh Premier League 2015 T20 cricket matches live online, go to ESPN3, the online-only channel in the ESPN network, which will carry the games live at this link. ESPN3 carries all 34 Bangladesh Premier League games in the 2015 season, and the streaming channel is free to subscribers of most major internet service providers and many minor ISPs, as well. For a full list, check this link.
[Featured Photo By Scott Barbour/Getty Images]