Competition the mantra as NCL set for Sept 15 start
Since introducing the two-tier system in the 17th edition to increase the competition among the players in the National Cricket League two years ago, the Bangladesh Cricket Board is yet to see the results as the 19th edition of the NCL will start from September 15.
Bangladesh ODI captain will participate in the early rounds for Khulna Division in order to be match-fit for the ODI leg of the South Africa tour.
The two-tier system will continue this season with Rangpur Division -- promoted last season -- will take part in tier one while Dhaka Metropolis will feature in the lower tier after being demoted last year when Khulna clinched the title.
"We are yet to achieve what we expected by introducing the two-tier system as this is a very important tournament for the players to get into the national team. There is huge opportunity for a player when he plays longer version cricket where the batsman can bat for longer periods and the bowlers can bowl more. So from that point of view we expected, by introducing the two-tier system, the teams to show more interest to have a competitive tournament [in order to move up a tier or stave off demotion]. But still, it's getting better and I think it will take some more time," said Akram Khan, chairman of BCB's cricket operations committee during a press conference at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
The tournament will be played across five venues on a home-and-away basis this season, with no games scheduled in Dhaka. The BCB have increased the match fee from Tk 25,000 to Tk 35,000, travel allowance from Tk 2,000 to Tk 2,500 and the daily allowance from Tk 1,000 to 1,500.
During the first Test against Australia in late August, Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal urged the board to prepare some pitches that more closely reflect the spinning surfaces for the home Tests.
"You can see there will be no games in Dhaka this season as there are a lot of matches played in Dhaka, including internationals and other schedules. At the same time if we want to prepare such wickets it also requires some rest to the pitch, so keeping these things in mind we have decided to hold the tournament outside Dhaka. Before the Australia series we had a meeting with the curators and briefed them to prepare sporting wickets where the bowlers can get wickets and the batsman will have to work hard to score runs," he said.