Much-awaited DPL begins todayStaff Correspondent
The long-awaited Dhaka Premier League begins today with three matches at different venues.
Reigning champions Victoria Sporting Club will take on newly-promoted Kalabagan Cricket Academy at the BKSP while Gazi Tank Cricketers will face another promoted side Khelaghar Samaj Kallayan Samity at Bogra and Brothers Union will play against Prime Bank Cricket Club at the Rajshahi stadium that will certainly bring a sigh of relief for the organisers as well for being able to start the league finally.
‘After several stoppages we could finally take it to the field,’ Jalal Yunus, chairman of the Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis, told reporters during the sponsor unveiling programme at the conference room of the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Monday.
‘Normally the season begins in October but we had to start it earlier in order to accommodate the DPL,’ said Jalal.
Jalal informed that they had taken several steps to ensure that this year’s premier league can proceed without facing any major challenge despite the present state of weather in the country.
‘We have kept a reserve day so that there is enough time to complete a match even if it is interrupted by rain,’ said Jalal.
‘CCDM had engaged extra groundsmen at different venues to ensure that everything remains in order even if there is some sort of obstacle in the form of bad weather.
‘We had also provided extra pitch cover and other necessary tools to every venues that will be used in the league,’ said Jalal.
‘We have been able to start the league against all odds,’ he added.
This year’s league had introduced several new rules that included a reserved day in the fixtures so that if any game remains incomplete due to rain the remaining part of it can be played on the reserved day.
If the game is not completed even on the reserved day then the points will be split between the participating teams.
Bangladesh Cricket Board introduced the so-called players-by-choice for the clubs for this year’s league
that had been severely criticised by the players as well as some clubs that had the financial strength to form a strong side.
This year’s premier league, which had been deferred four times, plunged into crisis from the very beginning as some influential clubs were reluctant to play in March-April saying they will not participate in the competition without the national players.
The problem worsened further after the selectors barred some other cricketers from playing the league as they were carrying injuries.
In the absence of national players, who had been busy in Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in the last two and a half months, some other top players – even the mid-level cricketers – demanded huge money for which the clubs refused to play.
The BCB was hopeful of starting the league in June, but the players threatened to boycott the league unless their certain demands – that included the scrapping of the proposed gradation system – are met.
The clubs had also played their part in delaying the league as they refused to participate in it if they don’t receive the grant as promised by BCB president Nazmul Hasan. The Board had paid Tk 40 lakh to each club in the previous season, albeit for releasing their players to participate in the Bangladesh Premier League.
But the beginning of this year’s league has ultimately brought sigh of relief for the cricketers as it remained the major earning source for them.
Meanwhile, New Zealand all-rounder Scot Styris joined Gazi Tank Cricketers on Monday and went straight to Bogra while Sri Lankan’s Sameera De Joysa and Vanuska Rajapakse are currently with Prime Bank, the only two sides to field foreign cricketers on the opening day of the DPL.
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