Aspiring cricketers from 32 academies across the Dhaka metropolitan zone will battle it out in the BCB Academy Cup, organised by the game development committee of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).
Ankur Cricket Academy will take on Clemon Indira Road Cricket Academy in the opening game today at the City Club Ground.
The intention of the 40-over-per-side tournament is to unearth new cricketers as well as to provide more opportunities to cricketers from the various cricket academies across Dhaka aged between 15 and 18 who have not featured in any of the Dhaka leagues.
Bangladesh ODI skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, who was present during the trophy unveiling ceremony, believes that these types of tournaments would give youngsters a platform upon which they can showcase talents and get a chance in the Dhaka leagues or programmes of the BCB.
"Obviously it's a very good initiative and the BCB along with the game development committee and Sujon bhai [Khaled Mahmud] should be praised for this," Mashrafe told reporters at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday. "Normally we don't get to see such tournaments. Those who play in the Dhaka leagues will not be able to participate in this, so I hope those who will perform well will get the opportunity at various clubs along with the programmes of the BCB in future, so it's a huge opportunity for them."
Game development committee chairman Khaled Mahmud informed that the board is planning to arrange the tournament on a broader scale in coming years.
"The criterion for this tournament is that those who have played Dhaka leagues will not be featured here. It's a pilot project as we included just 32 teams this year and set few criteria for the teams but we are planning to include more teams from next year," Mahmud said.
"It will definitely encourage the parents who are sending their children to the academies. From next year we will invite a few academies from outside Dhaka to participate and we are also planning to select 20-25 cricketers from this tournament for further training," the former Bangladesh captain added.
Mahmud also informed that the top four academies would get financial benefits from the BCB for the next five years and a total of 20-25 academies would get financial help from the board which will help nurture the pipeline at the grassroots level.