David Warner and Steve Smith will headline a host of big-name talent in the Bangladesh Premier League, with the Twenty20 competition pulling more recognised internationals than the Big Bash League this summer.
The Bangladesh competition will kick off on Saturday, clashing with the BBL for the first time after it was pushed back from October due to security fears surrounding the country's general election.
Apart from Australian stars Warner and Smith, who cannot play in the BBL as part of their 12-month bans, the BPL will also include a far wider array of the world's biggest-name players.
South African star A.B. de Villiers will play in the competition for the first time, as will ex-Big Bash marquees Chris Gayle, Alex Hales, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Yasir Shah and Carlos Brathwaite.
Nepalese and Melbourne Stars spinner Sandeep Lamichhane will also leave the BBL to play in the Bangladeshi league, before returning later.
Big Bash organisers are also happy with their list of imports this season, pointing to the success of Rashid Khan at Adelaide, Mohammad Nabi at the Melbourne Renegades and England captain Joe Root and Jos Buttler at the Sydney Thunder.
The BBL also has more local marquees, most notably in the likes of the big- hitting D'Arcy Short and Chris Lynn.
But crowds are down in the BBL over the opening fortnight, with an average of 21,591 fans attending each game, more than 3200 less per match than through the same period last year.
Ratings, however, are up around 5 per cent from last summer when considering matches are broadcast on both free-to-air and pay TV.
Regardless, the clash coincides with Cricket Australia's decision to extend the BBL into a full home-and-away season, taking the competition to just shy of a two-month commitment from the first game to last.
In comparison, the BPL fits within the BBL window, starting on January 5 and finishing on February 8 – more than a week before the final of the Big Bash in Australia.
Each squad in the Bangladesh competition can have a maximum of nine imports – compared to two in the BBL – and each team must field a minimum of four each game.
There's also some belief there's an advantage that international players can be home for Christmas before playing, and while the salaries on offer are not publicly listed they're also likely to be more beneficial given the shorter competition.
BBL organisers are believed to be viewing this season as a learning experience, given the change in broadcasters presenting some challenges and the elongated format.
COMPARING THE BEST IMPORTS:
BBL: Jos Buttler, Joe Root, Brendon McCullum, Rashid Khan, Jofra Archer, Mohammad Nabi, Dwayne Bravo, Sandeep Lamichhane, David Willey, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Sandeep Lamichhane.
BPL: Chris Gayle, Alex Hales, AB de Villiers, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Ian Bell, Mohammad Asif, Steve Smith, Tamim Iqbal, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Carlos Brathwaite, Dawid Malan, Lasith Malinga, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, David Warner, Sandeep Lamichhane.
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