<
>

Mashud calls for domestic schedule rethink

Mosaddek Hossain plays the ball on the up BCB

Domestic cricket in Bangladesh should be scheduled during the cooler part of the year, and venues must have better facilities, the former Bangladesh captain Khaled Mashud has urged. Mashud has asked the BCB to make these changes after many players suffered in the ongoing heat wave across the country.

In the 2016-17 season, the National Cricket League first-class tournament began in September but took a break to accommodate the Bangladesh Premier League T20 competition, which was held from November 8 to December 9. The NCL ended after a second phase that stretched from December 20 to January 6.

The Bangladesh Cricket League, the four-team first-class competition, then took place from January 28 to March 8. The Dhaka Premier League, which began this season on April 12 and is likely to end in mid-June, has a history of scheduling delays as the major clubs want the top cricketers to participate in the List A competition. Since September last year, the Bangladesh team has been busy playing home or away, so it was hard for the BCB to make the clubs agree to start the DPL in March, when the top cricketers were in Sri Lanka.

Mashud, who is also Prime Bank Cricket Club's coach, said the major domestic competitions such as the DPL and the two first-class competitions must be completed by mid-April.

"Implementing the domestic calendar during the season is everyone's priority," Mashud wrote in a Facebook post. "It won't be possible to hold back the [Dhaka Premier] league this season but these concerns should be addressed ahead of the next season. I would urge the BCB to finish the longer-version and one-day competitions by mid-April. They can think of a T20 tournament when the weather gets hotter. I believe such a step will help Bangladesh cricket."

The temperature in Bangladesh touched 38 degrees last week. Mashud cited the examples of Gazi Group batsman Jahurul Islam and Prime Bank wicketkeeper Zakir Hasan, who suffered severe cramps during DPL matches. Zakir was particularly affected during Prime Bank's May 21 match against Gazi Group Cricketers, suffering seizures despite being given an ice massage in the dressing room. He still hasn't recovered from his cramps.

The DPL has had to deal with other issues too. Avishek Mitra, the Mohammedan Sporting Club batsman, suffered a hamstring injury at the BKSP ground, where there was no ambulance to take him for treatment. In the end, the team had to improvise and use a cycle-van.

Mashud also pointed out the effect of power failures, at the BKSP and Fatullah grounds, on players.

"Like every other place in the country right now, power failure is also affecting the stadiums," he wrote. "Cricketers don't get adequate rest after returning from fielding for 50 overs. While there are generators in place for international matches, it is not the case for domestic games.

"It is quite embarrassing to find such a situation in the only List A tournament in the country in which local and foreign stars participate. A bigger challenge awaits from May 24 when the Super League begins. Ramadan is also starting on May 27 which is a major concern for me as a coach."