The base of the domestic cricket, the qualification round of Third Division League ended within a single day on Tuesday, exposing huge problem in the bottom tier of local cricket.
Only three teams registered in this year’s competition but one of them withdrew their name, making the league a one-match affair. Santinagar Cricket Club beat Mohammadpur Cricket Club to emerge champions after Purbachal Club withdrew their name. It was alleged that Purbachal was compelled to withdraw with the pressure of some BCB high-ups, who have their stake in the league.
But the scenario is better than that of previous year as no play was held in that year.
Dhaka Cricket Academy and the Axiom Cricketers qualified for the Third Division League last year without having to play. They have seen a meteoric rise in their fortune as they were promoted to Second Division League this year in their very first attempt.
Cricket organisers blamed the exorbitant entry fees for apparent lack of interest in the third division qualifying league.
The Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis last year fixed Tk 5 lakh as entry fee for the competition, five times higher than that of previous season, leaving many aspirants to shelve their desire.
The tournament, which should be the first exposure in competitive cricket for the many young talents in the country, used to be a fest of the aspiring cricketers before that exorbitant fee was imposed.
The commercially-run local cricket academies were hit hard by the decision as the competition was the only platform for their pupils to taste themselves at the competitive level.
To make things tougher the BCB also set few conditions, which includes participating teams must not be named after any commercial organsiation, they must have a constitution, must be registered by relevant government authorities and owns a permanent address.
Some organisers said, even First Division clubs of Dhaka may struggle to fulfill all those criterions.
On 2009 as many as 86 teams participated in the league and one of the veteran oragnisers seeking the anonymity told that the BCB has closed the opportunity of the young cricketers to favour some organisers getting councillorship.
‘These days some organisers need to spend Tk 30 lakh to buy a BCB councillorship. When you can get it with Tk five lakh why will you spend so much money,’ he said.
-With New Age input