Bangladesh news April 19, 2012

Domestic cricket returns after hiatus

A three-week hiatus of domestic cricket in Bangladesh will end on Friday with two league matches of the first-class competition, the National Cricket League. However, there will be no matches of the 50-over Dhaka Premier League, suspended since March 28, as the BCB and the clubs remain deadlocked.

The NCL games, the first domestic cricket will be played at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium and Fatullah Cricket Stadium. Those two games will be the last of the tournament's second phase before the five-day final that is scheduled to start on April 26.

The BCB's inability to resolve the crisis with Victoria Sporting Club, Mohammedan Sporting Club and Abahani has been increasingly frustrating for the fans and the players. None of the clubs are budging from their threat of not playing unless their demands are met. It is hoped that a solution will be found by the time the NCL is over.

The BCB said on Thursday that officials from five clubs (except Victoria) met BCB president Mustafa Kamal to discuss possible ways to resolve the Super League (the second phase of the Premier League) drama. It is now likely that the Super League will be held after the NCL final.

The Sylhet-Rajshahi game will be held in Mirpur while in Narayanganj, league leaders Khulna will take on Dhaka Metro. Sylhet are in second position with 95.52 points while defending champions Rajshahi are third on 93.98 points though they have more wins.

Rajshahi are still waiting on the availability of Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim, who is yet to play a first-class game for them this season. Mushfiqur is appearing for his Masters examinations so he could miss the match. If he is absent, Rajshahi will rely on heavy scorers like Farhad Hossain, Mizanur Rahman and Junaid Siddique, and on left-arm spinner Saqlain Sajib who has taken 43 wickets so far in this edition.

Jahurul Islam, one of the Rajshahi mainstays, wanted the four-dayers to be played in milder climes, and not the heat of April. "Playing four-day matches in such weather is not perfect," Jahurul said. "It'd be great if the games would be played in January or February. First-class cricket is important in every country but when it is interrupted by break like this it diminishes the importance of the tournament."

Their opponents Sylhet will bank on their left-arm spinner Enamul Haque who is the leading wicket-taker in the competition with 53 from nine games. Their batting will revolve around Rajin Saleh, Golam Mabud and Ezaz Ahmed.

Newcomers Dhaka Metropolis have Asif Ahmed, the tournament's top-scorer with 744 runs, while Shamsur Rahman, Mohammad Ashraful and Mehrab Hossain Jr all have in excess of 450 runs so far. The bowling has been overly reliant on Arafat Sunny, who has 47 wickets while no one else in the team has bagged 20 dismissals.

Khulna will have the services of Abdur Razzak and Imrul Kayes for their match against Dhaka Metro while still relying on their balanced bowling attack that saw Al-Amin Hossain (37 wickets), Murad Khan (34) and Dolar Mahmud (34) dominate whenever the need arose.

Tushar Imran and Anamul Haque have scored in excess of 500 runs in the competition while the side will expect Razzak to dominate with the ball and Imrul to use the game to show the national selectors his talent.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • rakibul on April 21, 2012, 9:02 GMT

    we need more domestic cricket.

  • Muhammad Rakibul on April 20, 2012, 5:13 GMT

    Who cares about these BD domestic tournaments? BCB always emphasize Dhaka's club over First Class tourney. So no positives will b come 4m this NCL. Just see what is said by a participant Jahurul Islam - "First-class cricket is important in every country but when it is interrupted by break like this it diminishes the importance of the tournament." With 4 months break b4 last 3 games, BCB shows it's not worthy of controlling cricket of a Full Member nation.

  • Andrew on April 19, 2012, 23:04 GMT

    "Will Mushfiqur Rahim play his first first-class match of the season for Rajshahi?" - forget about the number of tests Bangladesh play in any given year (although I do agree it should be more), this caption best sums up (IMO), what is WRONG with Bangladesh cricket. I think there are too many FC teams as well. Bangladesh IMO ideally should have 4 FC teams, that play each other 4 times a season. You would have a higher standard, & the Test players MUST play unless they have injuries. I believe you would see a 20% (subjective call) improvement in Bangladesh performances. That 20% would eliminate most innings defeats, it would mean matches get pushed into the 5th day, & I would assume, home victories would follow for Bangladesh. I believe they are more talented than Zimbabwe, but the Zimmers PLAY HARD & have a better run FC comp, that means they are better prepared.

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