BCB to conduct four-team T20 tournament
The BCB is close to organising an impromptu domestic Twenty20 tournament that is likely to begin next week. The board has taken this decision with Bangladesh's low T20 ranking in mind, to give the players more exposure to the format. According to the board's initial 2013-14 schedule, the Bangladesh Premier League was supposed to take place at this time of the season.
Unlike the BPL, the new tournament will be a four-team affair, the likely participants being Dhaka Premier League clubs who will be invited by the BCB. The selection of the clubs seems to depend particularly on the clubs' wish to take part.
"Our board president [Nazmul Hassan] has convinced Abahani and Mohammedan Sporting Club to take part in the T20 tournament. Prime Bank is the other team. We are looking for a fourth, after which an official announcement will be made, most probably on Friday," said a board official.
Corporate houses were being talked about initially, with the BCB's marketing and tournament committees contacting a few companies. The national selectors had also picked the four teams, as they did for the Bangladesh Cricket League, the newly formed first-class competition which began last season. But the change of plan was made on Wednesday.
The cricketers will be divided into categories A and B, and will respectively receive Tk 35,000 and Tk 25,000 each. Each team is likely to get four current Bangladesh cricketers. The teams will play each other twice in a round-robin format, and most of the tournament will be played at the Sylhet Divisional Stadium. "We are trying to hold the last few matches, including the final, in Dhaka but that will depend on availability of live TV coverage. Whether the ICC will let us use the Mirpur stadium is another matter we have to consider," said the BCB official.
If most of the matches are held in Sylhet, it will serve as ideal preparation for the ground, which is set to host an ODI between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in February and several World T20 matches the following month.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here