Bangladesh domestic news October 14, 2012

NCL to retain its old format

ESPNcricinfo staff

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has decided to revert to the old format of the National Cricket League (NCL), overturning its earlier decision of incorporating the proposed franchise system. The players will be paid match fees according to the previous season's payment scheme. To keep the franchises, which have already been signed, the board is planning another first-class tournament involving four teams after the NCL.

The decision to retain the old format and create a new tournament for the franchises was taken at a meeting on October 10, though the BCB only announced the franchise system during a press briefing addressed by senior vice-president Mahbub Anam.

"After the West Indies series, we will host a four-team, regional first-class tournament, which will be franchise-based," Tournament committee chairman Gazi Ashraf Hossain told Prothom Alo. "The NCL will be held as it has always been."

The change means that the divisional cricket authorities kept control of administration and won the tussle against a section of the BCB that had already brought in two companies and were about to sign two more to take over as franchisees. It was assumed that the four other teams, apart from the franchises, would be financed by the BCB.

The 2012-13 NCL will have some changes, though. The board hinted at a change in the points system, with more points awarded for winning matches rather than bonus points. The tournament will have only one group, with each team playing the other once.

The international cricketers have been asked to play the first two rounds of the NCL, between October 20 and November 2. Mashrafe Mortaza, however, is likely to miss out due to a slow rehabilitation process. Mortaza was told earlier this year by medical staff that it would take more than a year for him to play long-form cricket.

The proposed franchise competition will have a zonal allotment: players from Rajshahi and Rangpur will make up the team for the northern region, Barisal and Khulna players will be in the southern region's team, Chittagong and Sylhet players in eastern region and Dhaka Division and Dhaka Metropolis players in the central region. The national selectors will be asked to give a list of approximately 80 cricketers, with emphasis on under-25 cricketers.