Bangladesh news

Bangladesh's second first-class tournament to start

Mohammad Isam

December 26, 2012

Comments: 27 | Text size: A | A

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Warm_Coffee 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.

Posted by The_Ashes 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.

Posted by TheBlackMonk 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.

Posted by ExtremeSpeed 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.

Posted by   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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by saifur.raffael 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............

Posted by M_Rakibul_Islam 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.

Posted by Rafelgibt 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>>>>

Posted by M_Rakibul_Islam 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.

Posted by TheBlackMonk on (December 27, 2012, 4:25 GMT)

I completely disagree with some of the comments who vote for 1/2 foreign players in the team. The ultimate objective of arranging such tournament is ensuring more longer version cricket for local players with more competition and allowing foreign players will squeeze the chance of few. Like many will surely opt for fast bowlers as we lack it here most and eventually we will never produce a good one if we keep filling it up by foreigners. Meanwhile, a good fast bowler won't mean anything until we prepare a good fast bowling pitch which we will never get, so why bring them. Some might argue of having very experienced FC players who can share experience with locals, but do we really need that anymore, our national players are playing for long and they sure have gained some experience, I know this is nothing comparing others, but this is enough to count it for now. Besides, except England no other country allows foreign players. An extra slot for local players mean, an extra future!

Posted by TheBlackMonk on (December 27, 2012, 4:13 GMT)

@The_Ashes: I think BCL is not meant to be profitable, the most title sponsors are here investing in teams as CSR but hardly looking for a return. The possibility of profit here is very unlikely and the investors are well aware of it, yet they sponsored for the sake of better cricket and that kind of patronization was missing in last days for BD cricket, I hope these partnership continues for long.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2012, 4:03 GMT)

A good initiative from Board, no doubt. Two foreign players should be allowed per team. The tournament should be double league, home-away basis. Need to find a way to generate substantial revenue / profit from this tournament.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2012, 4:02 GMT)

To make BCL popular we need to telecast this. No doubt this is very good initiative to make domestic cricket stronger which would help Bangladesh improve in longer version cricket.

Posted by Kingzzzz on (December 27, 2012, 2:23 GMT)

What Bangladesh need to do is to create a good fast bowling program and change some of your pitches so it provides pace and bounce so it will encourage potential pacers in Bangladesh and our Batsman can play short pitched deliveries well otherwise the struggle will continue in tests.

Posted by AzAb12754 on (December 27, 2012, 1:57 GMT)

This is a good move but we also need more Test Cricket because after that West Indies series, Bangladesh yet have another big gap which is simply ridiculous otherwise Test Cricket will just lose interest and also amongst Bangladesh fans. The ranking table speaks for itself with Bangladesh on 0 points and it will remain like that if the matches are less than half of what the top 8 play. I see no reason why Bangladesh cannot play 3 test matches against Zimbabwe and New Zealand who are also struggling in tests. If this is not sorted about lack of sufficient matches for lower ranked teams then test Cricket will just die. If its because the bigger teams don't want to play us then include Ireland so you have a good set of teams at the higher tier and a good set of teams at the lower tier. I hope BCB does something for once.

Posted by   on (December 27, 2012, 1:17 GMT)

Something good for us from BCB. Hopefully, it would be the beginning of new era of Bangladesh cricket. Could be better to include couple of foreign players, double rounds in home & away ... & all of the matches could be day-night matches, which will increase the viewers in TV & attendees on stadium, hence the gross revenue of the tournament ... anyway, happy that it is going to start, could be improved in next versions ... good luck.

Posted by S-Matrix on (December 26, 2012, 20:56 GMT)

Agreed - BCL could benefit from English fast bowlers during county off-season. At present, England has the largest reserve of fast bowlers and some might be tempted to play in the BCL with generous remuneration (not BPL level, but still substantial). Given how Edwards and Best troubled Bangladesh Test team a while ago, such exposure should be helpful. Indications of batsmen comfort against spin are satisfactory so far (from Narine recently and Ajmal earlier).

Posted by splites on (December 26, 2012, 20:38 GMT)

It's a great step in the right direction for Bangladesh cricket. Hopefully players who are hopeful of making their marks in the annals of world cricket, use this as the opportunity to develop.

Posted by   on (December 26, 2012, 20:24 GMT)

Interesting article and comments below, if Bangladesh say that they want lots of first class domestic Cricket then you need to completely revamp the current NCL and play on home and away bases. Cut from 8 teams to 7 and merge both Dhaka teams so NCL isn't too long. Then pick the best performers from NCL with current Bangladesh first 11 for the BCL tournament. Next season, they can probably have 2 foreign players preferably very good fast bowlers in BCL to make it challenging for our players. Also its important we mix our pitches some turning like mad and the others fast and furious. Then we have BPL and DPL which is fine but they must not interrupt the longer version of the game in Bangladesh.

Posted by   on (December 26, 2012, 18:24 GMT)

I agree that a foreign players will spice up the tournament further. Maybe two per team. That will also give the tournament a lot more prestige and credibility. The Bangladeshi boys need practise playing against genuine quicks.

Posted by   on (December 26, 2012, 18:19 GMT)

This is also a single league tournament. At-least it could be double league format. Also should allow 2 foreign players who have minimum 90 matches (FC+ListA) experience in England, Australia or South African domestic cricket.

Posted by M_Rakibul_Islam on (December 26, 2012, 17:18 GMT)

BCB should also include 1/2 foreign cricketers for each team. As other 3 test nations form Asia r arranging First Class tournaments now, BD could've focused on English cricketers. In addition, apart 4m England all other Full members r playing domestic cricket now. Some experienced cricketers 4m England can help this young test sides. As BCB is getting revenue 4m BPL, they can spend a fraction of the revenue to contract 4-8 foreign experienced FC cricketers. Their experiences will b so valuable for BD players as most BD cricketers except Shakib have no idea about top class FC tournaments around the world.

Posted by PratUSA on (December 26, 2012, 16:38 GMT)

Bangladesh's version of Duleep Trophy. Lets see how this goes. Hopefully it'll help bring first-class standard up for Bangladeshi cricketers.

Posted by ExtremeSpeed on (December 26, 2012, 16:33 GMT)

These new domestic tournaments in Bangladesh is good and all that and a big sign Cricket is being taken seriously in the nation but it is also important for players and fans for Bangladesh to play more International Cricket even if its against the top associate teams I mean if a country like Sri Lanka can get 3 test matches away to Australia and are seriously struggling then Bangladesh should able to raise test matches against teams like Zimbabwe and New Zealand to 3 instead of the useless 2 and arrange a short ODI and T20 series against Ireland, Canada etc especially in build up to world tournaments because there's always big gaps between every series Bangladesh plays and that seriously has an impact on Bangladesh Cricket.

Posted by The_Ashes on (December 26, 2012, 16:19 GMT)

The problem with all first class competition is that it doesn't bring the kind of revenue that 20 and 50 overs competitions does and that is probably why a country like Bangladesh do not focus it as of much as compared to their premier competitions BPL and DPL. But this BCL is indeed interesting hope it works to total success and will uplift Bangladesh towards progressing at test level. Besides, we have test series in 2013 against relatively weaker teams so its probably a great chance for Bangladesh to finally win some test matches and even drawing them.

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (December 26, 2012, 14:58 GMT)

BCL looks interesting but I want to see these players playing all the games as they are most likely going to be part of our International plans for the next 2-3 years - Rahim, Mahmudullah, Nasir, Anamul, Mominul, Gazi, Abul and Nazmul.

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