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BCB set for T20 frenzy

UCBL completes Victory Day field

Staff Correspondent

United Commercial Bank Limited on Friday was named the fourth team in the newly-launched Victory Day Twenty20 tournament, which is set to begin in Sylhet on Sunday.
UCBL joined the fray hours after the BCB officially launched the tournament, which was supposed to be contested by clubs in the Dhaka Premier League.
The BCB had initially planned to make the tournament franchise-based before turning it into a club competition. The BCB also awarded official (List A) T20 status to the competition.
However, the BCB could only convince three clubs to play in the competition and, just when it looked like the BCB would be fielding the fourth team itself, UCBL agreed to come on board.
The BCB’s decision to accept UCBL left Dhaka Premier League champions Gazi Tanks disappointed, as they said that they also wanted to play in the competition.
‘We tried to contact them to play this competition only to find out that it was given to UCB,’ said Gazi Tanks manager Sabbir Ahmed.
Earlier on Friday, the BCB held a lottery to decide which of the squads announced on Thursday would be assigned to each of the four clubs. However, with different colours used for the cards denoting each squad in the draw, it appeared as though the draw had already been decided.
BCB director Ismail Haider Mallick picked first on behalf of Abahani Limited and selected the green card representing Mushfiqur Rahim’s squad.
BCB cricket operations chief Akram Khan then drew the blue card to select Tamim Iqbal’s team, which would later go to UCBL.
Mohammedan SC official Wasim Khan picked next, drawing the team of Mashrafee bin Murtaza and leaving Sakib al Hasan’s side for Prime Bank CC.
The competition is scheduled to start on December 22, with Abahani Limited facing UCBL in the opening game at Sylhet Divisional Stadium.
The tournament will be held in two phases with the first eight matches scheduled in Sylhet. Abahani will face UCB BCB XI in the opening match on Sunday before Prime Bank and Mohammedan clash in the evening.
The competition’s four teams will face each other twice in a round-robin group, and the top two teams will play in the final on December 31 in Dhaka. Dhaka will also hold four league matches, the BCB said in a media release.
The BCB also announced a financial package for the tournament, with the champions set to receive Tk 20 lakh in prize money and the runners-up set to win Tk 10 lakh. 
The pay-scale for the players was also disclosed, with Grade A players receiving a tournament fee of Tk 2.5 lakh and Grade B players receiving Tk 1.5 lakh.
Three players in each team have been placed in Grade A, while the remaining squad members will all be in Grade B.
The player of the tournament will be awarded Tk one lakh.
AMBER Group has been named the title sponsor of the event.
The BCB also announced that Abahani’s Abdur Razzak, who has been granted leave for a personal engagement, and Shamsur Rahman, who is recovering from injury, would not available for the tournament.

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