Bangladesh's domestic season will now begin with the National Cricket League, after the Bangladesh Cricket League franchises showed a reluctance to hold the tournament in September while the national cricketers are busy with the ODIs against Afghanistan.
The NCL, which begins this season on September 25, is the division-wise first-class tournament that is played among the seven divisions from across the country, as well as Dhaka Metropolis. It is divided into two tiers with the top team from the bottom tier being promoted to the top tier after every season.
The BCL is the franchise-based first-class tournament, which is placed along geographical zones like north, south, east and central. One of the franchise owners, Prime Bank Limited, pulled out this year due to unavailability of players and a supposed lack of quality in the tournament.
BCB's cricket operations chairman Akram Khan said that since these franchises spend a lot of money on the teams, they wants the top players to play for them. "BCL franchises don't want to play without the national players. They make a lot of investment. So we planned to postpone the BCL since the national players will be busy at that time with the Afghanistan series. So we will hold the NCL first," he said. "When an international series is suddenly planned, we are forced to change our calendar. Everyone wanted to play Afghanistan before the England series."
The NCL will be held in Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Bogra, Khulna, Fatullah and BKSP.