Fertile, but poor, Bangladesh straddles the estuary of the River Ganges. It is a country of almost 150 million crowded into an area not much larger than the British Isles with a rich cricket history. Although it only gained independence in 1971, it was originally part of Bengal and after partition became East Pakistan. The ground at Dhaka, which hosted Pakistan Tests, fell into disrepair after the wars which led to independence but cricket emerged as a unifying force and in 1976-77 an MCC side played games in front of massive crowds at Dhaka. Official tours by various countries playing unofficial Tests followed, and in 1976 Bangladesh became an Associate member of the ICC and took part in the inaugural ICC Trophy in 1979, reaching the semi-finals in 1982 and 1990. With huge enthusiasm among the population, Bangladesh's claims for Test status were greatly boosted when they won the ICC Trophy in 1997 (they had been playing ODIs for a decade) and that dream came true in 2001.
Bangladesh only began an official national first-class tournament in 1999-2000 as they prepared to become Test cricket's 10th Full Member. In the first year games were not first-class, but from 2000-01 all matches were and the competition is league based with six sides playing each other home and away.
National Cricket League
As with the first-class competition, six teams playing each other home and away once in a league.