Bangladesh news August 6, 2013

Preference to BPL leads to clash in BCB

Two committees in the Bangladesh Cricket Board are at loggerheads following the scheduling of the Bangladesh Premier League in the 2013-14 domestic calendar. The BPL was given a better time slot in place of the Bangladesh Cricket League, a first-class competition, initially scheduled for December, that has now been pushed to June 2014.

Former Bangladesh captain and BCB's tournament committee chairman Naimur Rahman said that his idea to keep the two first-class tournaments together was overruled by the cricket operations committee.

"I am against this domestic calendar personally as the preference of the BPL over the BCL cannot be justified," Naimur told the Dhaka-based newspaper New Age. "I think the BCL should have been given more preference instead of the BPL because, among the three formats, Bangladesh lacks most in Test cricket."

"They [BCB's cricket operations committee] argued that if the BPL is shifted to April, it won't be a profitable venture. The international players will not be available because the IPL is scheduled to start at that time. Though there is logic behind it, we must try to understand where our priority lies and act accordingly," Naimur added.

Enayet Hossain Siraj, the BCB's cricket operations committee chairman, however said that the BPL was given precedence to help prepare the Bangladesh players for the World Twenty20, which will begin in March 2014. "The BPL would be a 26-day affair, which will help our players prepare for the ICC World Twenty20," Siraj said.

The BCL was introduced last year as a first-class competition that was superior to the National Cricket League, which is played between seven divisions from the country and an additional team from Dhaka. The highest run-scorers and wicket-takers from the NCL are then selected to play for four zones in the BCL.

Naimur believes that if the BCL is given more priority in the calendar, it will have an effect on domestic and international cricket in Bangladesh. He said that playing an extra first-class tournament will only benefit the Bangladesh players in Test cricket with more time spent playing four-day matches. In addition, since the BCL is a better tournament with better pay and a lot more competition, it will motivate the players to focus on the NCL, which acts as the BCL's feeder.

"When our standard of Test cricket is so low, I am of the opinion that it will be better to promote the BCL because that will allow our cricketers to develop their skill in the longer version," Naimur said. "If we learn to promote the BCL, then the cricketers will naturally increase their focus on the NCL, because only 80 top-class performers of the NCL will participate in this franchise-based competition."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here