The Bangladesh Cricket Board decided to bring the schedule of National Cricket League forward to give the national players some match practice ahead of their two-match Test series against Australia, officials said on Wednesday. NCL was scheduled to start from the first week of October but BCB decided to start it from mid-September following a request of the national team coach Chandika Hathurusinghe.
BCB’s tournament committee held a meeting on Wednesday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium to discuss the annual calendar where the decision was finalised.
‘We want to start the NCL tentatively on September 15 or 17,’ BCB’s tournament committee chairman Akram Khan told reporters at SBNS.
‘During the last series our coach [Hathurusinghe] asked me to see whether one or two longer version matches can be arranged before the Test series,’ said Akram.
The Australia team is due to arrive in Dhaka on September 28 to play a two-match Test series, which will be held respectively from October 9-13 and October 17-21 in Chittagong and Dhaka.
Akram said BCB is emphasising on sporting wickets for NCL so that both bowlers and batsmen are thoroughly tested before the home series against Australia.
‘We are trying for sporting wickets because along with the NCL we also need to prepare our national cricketers for the home series.’
NCL will be a two-tier affair for the first time with top four teams in the points table of the last session playing in the top tier on a home and away basis. The bottom four teams will play in the second tier.
BCB decided to introduce the two-tier system in order to bring more competitiveness.
Under the new system, fourth team will be relegated to next tier whilst the top team from the second tier will be promoted to the top tier.
Due to political unrest all the games of NCL were played in and around Dhaka during last season.
Akram added national selectors will name the divisional squads and players without playing experience in the Dhaka Premier League or First Division League will not be eligible for selection.
‘We have seen in the past some players were included in NCL without proper qualifications,’
‘That won’t be the case this time as selectors will select the team and they are asked to include only players with right credentials,’ he said.
-With New Age input