Last chance to impress
The all-impor-tant second round of the National Cricket League (NCL) begins today after a short break for eid. The round will be the last chance for certain players to make an impression on the national selectors. Chief selector Akram Khan has already said that Bangladesh's long hiatus from Test cricket has put him and his team in a spot of bother.
In the second round matches, Dhaka take on Dhaka Metro at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur while Sylhet meet Chittagong at the BKSP,
Khulna face off with Rangpur at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna and holders Rajshahi play against Barisal at the Sheikh Kamruzzaman Stadium in Rajshahi.
The national players will look to improve on their individual performances as apart from Tamim Iqbal's dashing centuries, none of the other players managed to adjust themselves to the longer format of the game in the first round of matches. With the first Test match just a little more than a week away, this is the one area that Mushfiqur Rahim and Co. will want to concentrate on.
The second round will also receive a fillip with the inclusion of all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan. The left handed player, who returned last week after his stint with Indian Premier League team Kolkata Knight Riders in the Champions League T20 in South Africa, is expected to play for Khulna. He'll be playing the longer version of the game after a string of Twenty20 matches and the team management will definitely hope that their best wicket-taking bowler adjusts to the game as quickly as possible.
There'll be a special focus on Mominul Haque and Enamul Haque Jr. who, according to Akram, have a good chance of making it to the national fold. Mominul had scored a century in the first game and Enamul continued his good run with a six-wicket haul against Rangpur. The chief selector had earlier stated that the majority of the positions in the team have already been taken, which means that a bunch of younger players who performed well in the first round of the NCL, namely Marshal Ayub and Shohag Gazi, might have to wait for a longer period to attain a place in the national side.
The divisions have also been trying to bring in foreign players for the second round of the league. According to the rules of the NCL, a team can play two foreign players in the squad. Chittagong have already signed up players from Sri Lanka and with this round being the last for the national players, the other divisions are bound to follow suit.