The 21st edition of the National Cricket League (NCL), the country’s oldest first-class competition, will kick off across the country today with an emphasis placed on more competitive cricket.
In the Tier-1 matches defending champions Rajshahi Division will take on Dhaka Division in Fatullah while Rangpur will square off against Khulna in Khulna. In Rajshahi, Tier-2 teams Barishal will lock horns with Sylhet and Dhaka Metro will take on Chattogram Division in Mirpur.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) had initially raised the fitness standards for this edition by increasing the minimum requirement in the beep test from nine in the previous season to 11. The selectors did then relax the fitness requirements for some experienced campaigners, who were unable to meet the standards, just for this season.
The board also made changes to the point system this season, with points awarded for consecutive wins. The bonus points will also see some changes, with teams earning 0.01 points for every run they score above 250 in the first 100 overs of the first innings. The bowling team will be awarded 0.5 points at the fall of the fifth, seventh and ninth wickets in the first 100 overs of the first innings.
This season’s NCL is also considered as preparation for Bangladesh’s tour of India next month as the board made it compulsory for national players to take part in the NCL, most of whom have not been regular participants in the competition in past years.
Meanwhile this years’ NCL will also see former Bangladesh batsman Aftab Ahmed embark on his maiden stint as head coach of Chattogram Division. The former hard-hitting Bangladesh batsman had already established himself as coach of Legends of Rupganj in the last edition of the Dhaka Premier League, in which his side finished second.
“When played, my intention was to play with an attacking mindset and now as a coach, I don’t want to see my team at the bottom. My attacking mindset will remain as coach too and regardless of the result I will try to give my best,” Aftab told reporters yesterday.
National Cricket League Points System (per BCB press release)
Teams will earn points from league matches in the following system:
i) For a win, 8 points, plus any bonus points scored in the match.
ii) In a tie, each side to score 4 points, plus any bonus points scored in the first innings.
iii) In a drawn match, each side to score 2 points.
iv) If a match is abandoned without a ball being bowled, each side to score 2 points.
i) Batting Bonus Point (Only eligible for first innings)
First 100 overs: 0.01 for every run scored above 250
Example: 350 runs in the first 100 overs = 1.0 point. Batting points are uncapped until 100 overs.
First innings lead: No bonus point.
ii) Bowling Bonus (For First Innings Only)
First 100 overs: 0.5 points awarded at fall of fifth wicket, seventh wicket and ninth wicket
Example: 8 wickets in first 100 overs = 1 point. Bowling points capped at 1.5
After first 100 overs, no further bonus points available to either team
Bonus points for consecutive wins:
1 point for 2 consecutive wins
2 points for 3 consecutive wins
3 points for 4 consecutive wins
4 points for 5 consecutive wins
5 points for 6 consecutive wins
NOTE: To achieve bonus point, either both teams have to complete their first innings or both have to complete minimum 100 overs in their first innings.