The 15th National Cricket League is set to resume with the sixth round starting from today. The national players will take part in the league for the first time this season since it began in January this year. However, some of the national pacers have been advised against participating in the competition due to injuries.
Al-Amin Hossain is nursing a hamstring injury and will be missing out on the sixth round, but is expected to return for the seventh, scheduled to begin on April 19. Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, who captained Khulna for the first few matches, will not be in action as he is recovering from a series of injuries incurred over the last two months. Shakib Al Hasan, who is in the UAE to play the IPL, will also be absent. There are a bunch of other pacers, such as Robiul Islam and Rubel Hossain, who are going through injury rehabilitation and are also unlikely to play the sixth round. However, apart from the national players nursing injuries, everyone else is expected to join in the league.
National selector Habibul Bashar hopes the players can regain their confidence and form through the competition. “Getting back to the basics is the best thing that one can do when he is out of form. So this will be a good opportunity for the players to be among the runs. Good performances here can boost the players' confidence,” said Bashar.
The four four-day matches will take place at Cox's Bazar, Fatullah, Chittagong and BKSP.
League leaders Dhaka will take on Barisal at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong, while second-placed Rajshahi will take on Chittagong at the BKSP. Sylhet will play Rangpur at the outer Fatullah ground and Khulna will play Dhaka Metro at the newly built Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium in Cox's Bazar.
There were a number of impressive performances in the first segment of the competition. Wicketkeeper-batsman Nurul Hasan, who scored one century and two half-centuries in seven innings boasts an average of 89. Dhaka Metro's Asif Ahmed tops the run charts with 527 runs. His highlight was a 200 that he scored against Barisal. Also among the runs is Dhaka's Abdul Majid who has scored 495 runs at an average 70.71.
Among the bowlers, as always, it has been the spinners who have been dominating. Monir Hossain tops the wickets column with 24 scalps, followed by Nabil Samad's 23. Rajshahi slow left-armer Taijul Islam's 10 for 98 against Sylhet is so far the best bowling figures in the league.
The performance in the league will be important not only for the players to gain confidence but also for them to prepare for the upcoming series against India, against whom Bangladesh are scheduled to play three one-day internationals in June.
The poor performances over in the last three months would mean that there could be a few spots up for grabs in the national side, which makes the league even more important for some of the younger players yearning for a breakthrough.