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Dhaka league controversy stalls Bangladesh domestic cricket

Mohammad Isam

April 13, 2012

Comments: 11 | Text size: A | A

Shakib Al Hasan misses and is bowled, Bangladesh v Pakistan, Asia Cup, Mirpur, March 11, 2012
A controversy surrounding former Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf's participation in the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League has left Bangladesh domestic cricket in disarray © Associated Press
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Only five domestic matches have been played in Bangladesh since the national side's successful Asia Cup campaign, due to a suspension of the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League that has now run into its second week. A controversy surrounding the clearance letter of Mohammad Yousuf, the former Pakistan batsman, has spiralled into a three-way battle between Victoria Sporting Club, the Bangladesh Cricket Board and the giants, the Mohammedan Sporting Club and Abahani Limited. The conflict has had a big impact on cricket in the country, as the first-class competition, the National Cricket League, also remains in limbo with one round and the final left to play.

Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis (CCDM), the BCB committee that runs the league in the capital, has said they are not in a position to take a decision on the issue. "The board president [Mustafa Kamal] is not in the country and I haven't received any letters from the clubs," Aynul Islam Tiash, the committee's coordinator, told reporters yesterday.

During the Super League match on March 28, Abahani refused to play Victoria after being bowled out for 177 runs in 47.4 overs. Their grouse was the participation of Yousuf, whose clearance was said to be forged though the CCDM had initially endorsed the letter. Mohammedan, which had supposedly provided the clearance letter, denied submitting any letter to the CCDM and immediately made a complaint with regards to his participation. As they raised the red flag, Abahani asked for an explanation and when none was made available by noon, they didn't take the field. Four hours later, match referee Obaydul Haque Azam ruled that Victoria be given two points for Abahani's actions.

The CCDM promptly suspended the league on the same evening and two days later asked the BCB president Mustafa Kamal to take a decision on the matter. During the April 1 board meeting, it was decided that a four-member committee, led by vice president Mahbubul Anam, resolve the issue. A week later, their recommendations were set out at an emergency meeting, and it was decided to restart the league from April 10, endorse the match referee's decision and restrain Yousuf from taking further part in the competition.

But the clubs didn't comply and just a day after the date of resumption was announced, the CCDM resorted to using "inclement weather" as a reason to suspend the league once again. Abahani, on Thursday, demanded that two points be awarded to them as Yousuf has been barred from playing, and that the league restart on April 17. Mohammedan supported Abahani in this matter, while Victoria has asked for an increase the number of foreign players in the XI from three to five as their star players, Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, are away at the Indian Premier League.

There is growing discontent among the other three clubs - Old DOHS Sporting Club, Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club and Gazi Tank Cricketers - while the media and public too have been left bewildered by the issue that has stopped Bangladeshi cricket in its tracks.

Mohammad Isam is senior sports reporter at the Daily Star in Dhaka

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Posted by Quddus-Mamu on (April 16, 2012, 23:06 GMT)

Twelve teams should play with each other at least twice in a round robin league. Top four team should play semi final. Each team should play with 2/3 national players(from quota system). 3 foreign players and at least 3 regional players. This is the best time to make some changes in Bangladesh cricket.

Posted by Quddus-Mamu on (April 16, 2012, 22:46 GMT)

As I mentioned earlier, you can name those clubs under different regions,have the current owner own their team. That way, teams will get regional support like BPL teams. People really enjoyed BPL because of that. Here are the example, you can name anyway you want: 1. Dhaka-Mohammedan, 2. Mymensingh- Surjo Tarun, 3.Faridpur- Abahani, 4. Chittagong-Victoria, 5.Comilla-Gazi Tank, 6.Sylhet- Sk Jamal, 7.Rajshahi- DOHS, 8.Rongpur-Brothers , 9. Bogra-Kola Bagan 10.Barisal-Biman, 11. Jessore-CCRS, 12. Khulna-Sk Russel. Better to have at least 12 teams.

Posted by Quddus-Mamu on (April 16, 2012, 22:07 GMT)

Bangladesh Cricket Board should completely dismiss the Dhaka base club cricket. Nobody really watch that club cricket. Instead, BCCB should make 12 regional teams and those club owner can have the ownership of regional teams if they want. It's like BPL,but these teams will play longer version cricke (4 days) and one day match. These are the 12 regions I can think of: 1. Dhaka, 2. Mymensingh 3. Faridpur 4. Chittagong, 5. Comilla 6.Sylhet 7. Rajshahi 8. Rongpur 9. Bogra 10. Khulna, 11. Jessore, 12. Barisal.

Posted by ZsZs on (April 16, 2012, 2:44 GMT)

I guess still no one cares. Sad.

Posted by   on (April 14, 2012, 16:18 GMT)

This club owners should have been punished and banned for any activity relating to club. they are the person who brings politics to the cricket.

Posted by M_Rakibul_Islam on (April 14, 2012, 15:06 GMT)

@Harsh.Joshi : Only Club officials & cricketers bother about it, no one else.

Posted by Harsh.Joshi on (April 14, 2012, 12:11 GMT)

who is bothered about this league?

Posted by justanotherfan13 on (April 14, 2012, 11:40 GMT)

so childish!they can organize the BPL games under flood lights in a country where factories and mills are affected greatly by load shedding, but they cant resolve this silly problem!!! BECAUSE THEY DO NOT BOTHER!!

Posted by KingofRedLions on (April 14, 2012, 7:40 GMT)

Absolutely dismal. It's little wonder Bangladesh has struggled to get anywhere for so long.

Posted by   on (April 14, 2012, 7:38 GMT)

And some BCB officials says that domestic cricket structure will improve once they have the tonnes of money they received from BPL . Sad , money and cricket development does not go hand in hand .

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