Dispute delays opening of NCL
The National Cricket League has been pushed back by six days and will start on October 20 to kick off the 2012-13 domestic cricket season in Bangladesh. The country's only first-class competition was supposed to start on October 14 but a split formed within Bangladesh Cricket Board directors regarding the number of first-class teams in this year's revamped competition and who would control them.
There was concern among those directors who were nominated from the districts and divisions that due to the introduction of the franchise system to the first-class competition, hitherto under the jurisdiction of divisional cricket authorities, the control of the teams would be shifted to the franchisees. But BCB's senior vice-president Mahbubul Anam, also the head of this tournament's governing council, said that the dilemma will be fixed once the franchisees and the divisional authorities put together an agreement paper and discuss with the board president.
The number of teams has been kept at eight though there were strong arguments to drop Dhaka Metropolis and Rangpur after some directors thought it would be unwise to have some teams under the board's finance with others under the private franchisees. Ultimately however, there are likely to be four franchisees, two of whom - Prime Bank Foundation and Walton - have already signed Memorandum of Understanding with the cricket board earlier this week.
Meanwhile, it was also announced that cricketers who fail to make themselves available for their respective teams without the physio's official report and permission from the BCB will not be considered for selection for the Bangladesh team, while each team will be allowed to recruit and field two overseas first-class cricketers. The match fees have also been doubled, with each member of a playing XI earning Tk 40,000 ($500) per game this season.
The first four games will begin on October 20 before the tournament takes a break due to Eid holidays and will resume in early November.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Bangladesh