Banned former Australia skipper Steve Smith, who was signed by Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) franchise Comilla Victorians, has been barred by the country's cricket board following an objection raised by some franchises. The 29-year-old was expected to join the team in mid-January for the second phase of the BPL as a replacement for Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik. The problem with Steve Smith's inclusion is that he was picked from outside the draft, which goes against the laws of the BPL.
"The rule of the tournament is that if a franchise takes a replacement, his name should be in the list of initial players' draft. But Smith's name was not there," said Bangladesh Cricket Board chief Nizamuddin Chowdhury.
"Some franchises raised objection about it. So we have to bar him from playing the BPL," he said.
Australia's banned vice-captain David Warner will however play in the BPL, which concludes on February 8, 2019, having signed for the Sylhet Sixers as one of their two pre-draft signings.
Smith and Warner are serving one-year bans from international cricket and Australia's domestic competitions for their involvement in the infamous ball-tampering scandal that took place in March this year.
The BPL was expected to be Smith's third T20 league outing after Canada's Global T20 and the Caribbean Premier League since the ban was imposed.
He also recently signed for the Pakistan Super League, which will be played in February and March.
The BPL, which started in 2011, was hit by allegations of match-fixing in its early years.
After a suspension, the tournament resumed in 2015 and has since been staged without serious controversy.
(With AFP inputs)