Bangladesh news December 26, 2012

Bangladesh's second first-class tournament to start


Cricket in Bangladesh will take a step towards the right direction with the launching of the country's second first-class tournament. The Bangladesh Cricket League (BCL) begins on Thursday as a franchise-backed regional competition with a focus on bringing more leverage to longer-version cricket.

Walton Central Zone will take on Prime Bank South Zone at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. In the other match, Islami Bank East Zone face BCB North Zone at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra. Central are made up of players from Dhaka Metropolis and Dhaka Division, South's players are from Khulna Division and Barisal Division, East has players from Sylhet Division and Chittagong Division while Rajshahi and Rangpur players will play for North.

"This is eventually going to be the prime first-class tournament in Bangladesh," Naimur Rahman, the BCB's tournament committee chairman, said. "We have only considered the performers from this season's National Cricket League (NCL), and this tournament will have better competition and a higher standard.

"Our intention is to make the first-class structure stronger, because without it, we cannot expect development of cricket."

The tournament came into being only after the NCL could not get enough franchises after the BCB had decided to change its make-up earlier this year. As a result, the NCL continued in the usual format and this new tournament took shape. Three of the four franchises have gained sponsors but the northern region is yet to get a buyer, though the BCB is hopeful someone will pick it up during the tournament.

The tournament will be of single league format with each team playing three games each, all before Bangladesh's potential tour to Pakistan. The five-day final, set to be played with a pink ball under lights in Mirpur, will be held after the BPL Twenty20s in mid-February.

The squad selection was largely left to the franchises, who were given a list of 80 cricketers by the national selectors, chosen from the list of performers in the NCL. The selection of Mohammad Ashraful, who averaged only 13.22 in the NCL this season, is contentious, as is the non-selection of Shahriar Nafees. The left-hand batsman has been named in the reserves for the South Zone side, mainly because he didn't play much in the NCL, but at the time the tournament was on, he was in the Bangladesh Test side that was playing West Indies at home.

Meanwhile, Chittagong opener Nazimuddin and Rangpur allrounder Alauddin Babu have not been included as punishment for not participating in the Victory Day match on December 16. "They didn't tell us why they couldn't play the Victory Day match, so we informed the BCL committee not to include them," Akram Khan, the chief selector, said.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shoaib on December 27, 2012, 22:09 GMT

    That's the attitude you should have very impressed of Bangladesh despite lack of test Cricket, you are still willing to put your priority on it at its fullest which is good too see. Ideally though, we need to sort out our NCL and play on home and away bases 14 first class matches per season lasting about upto 4 good months and then, choose the best players from NCL to play in the short BCL but in the future, we could make BCL interesting by adding two foreign players per team. They should even televise the whole tournament for Bangladeshi fans considering its franchise based and short.

  • Jonny on December 27, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    Well I'm glad we are showing to the world that Bangladesh are intending to take test Cricket serious but if we are still not getting enough test matches then might as well forget about this dying format as its pretty pointless for us to play if we are not given the chance. Let the world know how many countries play Test Cricket instead of including Bangladesh and Zimbabwe to just fill the ranks so to make people think that many countries play test Cricket when really they don't. Even teams like New Zealand and Sri Lanka are struggling in test Cricket so things needs a lot of addressing. Also BCB needs to stop postponing and cutting things off from the calendar because 3 full series with Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Pakistan was supposed to happen in 2012 according to FTP but it didn't and this is frustrating for millions of Bangladesh fans who can't see their teams in action for months.

  • Zahirul on December 27, 2012, 17:34 GMT

    @M_Rakibul_Islam and saifur.raffael: Let's get into some instances not to far, look at India, even after such a long time how many genuinely good pacer they have produced, 2/3 best, even by international standard not that outstanding. The only reason is they do not prepare pitch for pacers and the same route we are following. The concern we show mostly that our batsmen fail to play the quality pace, not that we don't produce quality pacers and even this concern reveals when we mostly collapse in the second innings also after playing such wonderful against the same attack in first innings mostly. Now if you think playing against such quality attacks more often will solve our strange second innings dilemma, not fully true.We all know our batsmen carry the quality against them but lack the concentration. The more they will play long innings must to come. However, I can not deny the impact of a quality foreign fast bowler on locals, but before that we must get 1/2 pitch for pacer.

  • Sami on December 27, 2012, 14:06 GMT

    @M_Rakibul_Islam - New Zealand have an ODI series with Sri Lanka next year? didn't they just played a full ODI series with them like last month? just shows how messed up the ftp is boring repeated series over and over again no wonder Cricket doesn't really generate interest in other parts of the world. This is just the inaugural BCL and next season, they may decide for the 4 franchises to field 2 foreign players preferably very good fast bowlers and televise the whole edition. But these matches for me should be singular based with a one-off final like currently rather round robin because we already have the NCL but that one needs a big revamp. 2 first class tournaments with different purposes in Bangladesh is good for our Cricket. I also agree Bangladesh pitches should provide pace and bounce so that our players can gain serious experience.

  • Dummy4 on December 27, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    Please BCB bring ListA status for DPL either leave it, arrange ListA tournament or league. I heard, from next season BCL will be double league basis and more organized. Now please try to televised this league from next season.

  • sadequl on December 27, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    though its a late by BCB but yet we appreciate & congratulate them for taking this fruitful decision, ty.

  • SAIFUR RAHMAN DURJOY on December 27, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    @ man cant agree wid u this is d inaugural BCL may b BCB couldnt arrange slots for foreign plyrs 2 play in dis tournament, but surely they hve d plan in their minds.... foreign quality plyrs need 2 participate in BCL for atleast may b 5-4 seasons from d beginning 2 make up d lack of 1-2 quality plyrs dat each teams misses.. specially (145-150) km fast bowlers .....another thing dat is their participation will do the publicity of d tournament in country & abroad as it will make BCL more high class............. other big deal is dat BCL need 2 b televised,I heard dat they r only going 2 televise d final but they must televise d whole league from nxt edition............

  • Muhammad Rakibul on December 27, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    @ AzAb12754 & ExtremeSpeed: Strongly agree with u guys. In fact BD-NZ have a due Test series that was to b played in 2010. But BCB avoided that series for the sake of ODI preparations for 2011 WC! Btw, BD can play 3 match Test series vs Zim on April-May. But I doubt it. If 1/2 BD cricketers find any franchise in IPL-6 along with Shakib, BCB will b reluctant to arrange the Test series like SLC & WICB. BCB can also arrange a 3 match Test series vs struggling NZ on October. But CLT20 on September may b a barrier to that as a Kiwi team will participate the tournament. NZC may say that they can't b well prepared for that. In addition, black caps have a ODI series in SL just after BD tour. So very little hope for 3 match series against these 2 teams.

  • KH. RAFIQUE on December 27, 2012, 7:05 GMT

    It's really a nice move from BCB..............It was an obvious step to be implemented and I must congratulate them.....Hope this tournament would continue in the forth coming years....No inclusion of foreign players; it's a good move for this year as lots of things need to be sorted out through this year's tournament........From next year we might we introduce few good 'ex or currently out of the team' players like- Md. Yousuf, Brad Hodge, Owis Shah etc plus few very quick bowlers from PAK domestic circuit as we might get them available.......But plz no more over aged PAK batters as we have been seen these for last few years in Dhaka Cricket League.......We must have to understand that without doing well in TEST cricket no nation can progress in CRICKET.....So, we must have to take all the initiatives to do better our first- class cricket infrastructures........ROAR TIGERS ROAR>>>>

  • Muhammad Rakibul on December 27, 2012, 6:28 GMT

    @ Satan_in_Game: I agree with ur points. But BD lacks quality FC players. In fact they had no genuine fast bowlers at top level. If they can get few quality FC cricketer for BCL it will help them. Yes BD's national players have played 4-10 years of FC game but all played mostly NCL matches. But apart 4m SHAKIB none have played any top level & more competitive tournaments like English County, Australian State, SA franchise etc. NCL experience won't benefit each other. I must say BCB should only pick the experienced FC cricketers 4m top test nations having at least 7/6 years of FC cricket. Few good Fast bowlers can also help BD batsmen to face some 145+ kph deliveries. BD young bowlers will b also benefited by them. But BD must create few Fast bowling pitch at 2 domestic grounds.

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