The country’s flagship first class cricket competition, the National Cricket League (NCL), is all set to start on Thursday. A total of eight teams will be participating, with the hope that this year’s NCL could be the best edition of this league.
In the first round of the league, tier-one teams, current champions Rajshahi Division will take on Dhaka Division in Fatullah and Rangpur will face Khulna in Khulna. Tier-two teams Barishal and Sylhet face off in Rajshahi while Dhaka Metro will lock horns with Chattogram in Dhaka.
Most of the national players will take part in NCL, which will surely increase the interest of NCL among the fans.
National opener Tamim Iqbal will play for his Chattogram in NCL while Mahmudullah Riyad will represent Dhaka Metro. Along with them, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahman (Rajshahi), Mominul Haque, Naeem Hasan (Chattogram), Imrul Kayes, Soumya Sarkar, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Rubel Hossain (Khulna), Shadman Islam, Abu Hider (Dhaka Metro), Abu Jayed Rahi and Ebadot Hossain (Sylhet) will also be playing in NCL.
Mominul, the captain of Chattogram, believes this edition of NCL will set a new benchmark for this event. He said: “I think this NCL will be more competitive than before. Everyone will be more focused on their game.” The Chattogram captain further said that he is pleased to have Tamim Iqbal in his team.
“I am really happy to have Tamim in our team. We know that when Tamim performs, none needs to do anything. He is such a good player. We don’t expect much from him. It will be enough if he just does own job,” Mominul told the media.
However, Chattogram have no chance to lift the trophy of NCL as a tier-two team along with Barishal, Dhaka Metro and Sylhet. The incentive for tier-two teams is to finish top and get promoted to tier-one for next year.
Marshall Ayub, the captain of Dhaka Metro, also hopes for a better NCL this time around. He said: “The authority is more concerned with the NCL this time. I think we are going to have a better edition of NCL this year. Many of the national players will participate in the event, which will surely help the youngsters to learn more.”
This year’s NCL will be played under a new point system by which every team will earn eight points for each win, but there will be only four points to share in a match that ends in a draw, meaning in a drawn match, both teams will get two points each. But if a match ends in a tie or gets abandoned, they will get four points each.
At the same time, every team will have the chance to get bonus points for the better bowling or batting performances. A team can earn 0.01 points for each run over 250 within 100 overs of their innings. At the same time, a team can earn a maximum of 1.5 points if they can bowl out their opponents within 100 overs.
BCB has introduced this point system in order to encourage results from each game. The cricketers believe, this system will inspire every team to play better.
Ahead of the league’s start, BCB set a fitness bar for all of the players. With a little exception, most of the players have to take the beep test and reach 11. Habibul Bashar, one of the members of the BCB selection committee, recently said to UNB that they will not consider any player for NCL in future who will fail to prove their fitness.
“We want the players to be fit physically in order to play in domestic cricket. We are allowing some regular performers this year to play NCL in spite of failing to meet minimum fitness. But, they will get no chance in future,” Habibul told UNB.
Rajshahi Division: Junaid Siddique, Mizanur Rahman, Jahurul Islam,
Avishek Mitra, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shabbir Rahaman, Mohaiminul Khan Chowdhury, Farhad Reza, Taijul Islam, Shafiul Islam, Shafiqul Islam, Saqlain Sajib, Md. Shakhir Hossain, Mohor Sheakh Antor
Khulna Division: Imrul Kayes, Soumya Sarker, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Tushar Imran, Nahidul Islam, Robiul Islam Robi, Amit Majumder, Ziaur Rahman, Khan Abdur Razzak, Imranuzzaman, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Al-Amin Hossain, Hasanuzzaman
Dhaka Division: Nadif Chowdhury, Shuvagata Hom, Rakibul Hasan, Rony Talukdar, Abdul Majid, Taibur Rahaman, Nazmul Islam Apu, Saif Hassan, Shahadat Hossain, Joy Raj Sheikh Emon, Salauddin Sakil, Sumon Khan, Shakil Ahmed, Ridoy Khan, Jubair Hossain
Rangpur Division: Mehedi Maruf, Fardeen Hasan Oney, Mahmudul Hasan Limon, Naeem Islam, Nasir Hossain, Tanbir Hayder Khan, Shohrawardi Shuvo, Alauddin Babu, Sajedul Islam, Subashis Roy, Sanjit Saha, Robiul Haque, Myshukur Rahaman, Hamidul Islam Himel
Barishal Division: Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Mosaddek Saikat, Shahriar Nafees, Mohammad Ashraful, Shohag Gazi, Fazle Rabbi, Monir Hossain Khan, Md. Salman Hossain Emon, Md. Nuruzzaman, Tanvir Islam, Shamsul Islam Anik, Towhidul Islam Russel, Moin Khan, Rafsan Mahmud
Chattogram Division: Tamim Iqbal, Mominul Haque, Sadiqur Rahman, Pinak Ghosh, Yasir Ali Rabbi, Tasamul Hoq, Mahidul Islam Ankon, Masum Khan Tutul, Mehdi Hasan, Noman Chowdhury, Minhajul Abedin Afridi, Shakawat Hossain, Irfaan Sukkur, Naeem Hasan
Dhaka Metro: Md. Shadman Islam, Rakin Ahmed, Shamsur Rahman, Mahmudullah Riyad, Marshal Ayub, Al-Amin, Jabid Hossain, Saikat Ali, Arafat Sunny, Md. Shahidul, Abu Haider Rony, Manik Khan, Mohammed Elias, Aminul Islam Biblob
Sylhet Division: Imtiaz Hossain Chowdhury Tanna, Jakir Hasan, Jakir Ali Anik, Alok Kopali, Shahnur Rahman, Enamul Haque Jr., Rahatul Ferdous Jabed, Adu Jayed Chowdhury Rahi, Imran Ali Enam, Ebadot Hossain, Toufiq Khan Tusher, Nasum Ahmed, Ruhel Mia, Mizanur Rahman Sayem, Md. Rejaur Rahman Raza. Source: UNB