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Bangladesh Cricket Board has lifted a ban on former Australian captain Steve Smith playing in the forthcoming Bangladesh Premier League.

The ruling means Smith is free to play for Comilla Victorians in the next edition of the BPL starting on January 5.

He is expected to join up with teammates in mid-January for the second phase of the BPL as a replacement for Shoaib Malik.

The BCB had initially blocked his participation after other franchises raised objections about Smith, who was not in the initial players' draft list for the tournament.

"We could not give him permission earlier as other franchises had protested his signing," BCB spokesman Jalal Yunus said on Thursday.

"Today four franchises emailed us separately saying that they have withdrawn their objections for the greater interest of the tournament," he said.

Yunus added that in return other franchises wanted at least one replacement player outside of the players' draft and the BCB had agreed to their demand.

Australia's ex-vice captain David Warner will also play in the BPL, having signed for the Sylhet Sixers.

The BPL will be Smith's third T20 league outing – after Canada's Global T20 and the Caribbean Premier League -- since the ball-tampering ban was imposed.

He also recently signed for the Pakistan Super League, which will be played in February and March.

#BPL2019#Bangladesh Premier League 2019#Australia#Comilla Victorians