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NCL shelved once again

BCL back on BCB agenda

Staff Correspondent

The Bangladesh Cricket Board took a new initiative of starting the franchise-based first-class competition as it is unable to hold the National Cricket League in this political situation.
The NCL, country’s lone first-class competition until last year, was scheduled to start on January 8, but the BCB insiders said they cannot provide logistical support to eight teams together in the present circumstances. 
As the NCL is being delayed, the BCB said it would now try to convince the BCL franchises to play the tournament which was scheduled to be held later.  
The BCB launched the BCL last year with top 80 players from the NCL.  The BCB had hoped it would encourage the players to perform well in the NCL, which carries little incentives otherwise.
However, the BCB is keen to begin it now before the NCL as there are no other cricketing activities ahead of the forthcoming home Test series against Sri Lanka. 
The BCB had taken a similar initiative in December, but the franchises did not respond positively. Having been unable to convince the franchises, who were hit hard like many others by the political unrest, the BCB finally organised a Twenty20 competition.
‘We are hoping to start the BCL soon as there is no possibility of holding the NCL from January 8,’ Akram Khan, chairman of the BCB’s cricket operations committee, told New Age on Sunday.
‘We are more eager because of the forthcoming home series against Sri Lanka where we are going to play two Test matches,’ said Akram.
‘If we can hold at least two rounds of the BCL before the series it will immensely help the players in making preparations for the Test matches,’ he added.
Earlier, the franchises had refused to participate in the BCL as they were reluctant to travel from one venue to another because of security problems.
National chief selector Faruk Ahmed believes that this problem can be sorted out if the initial part of the tournament is held at BKSP as the teams won’t be required to travel in order to participate in it.
‘There are two grounds at the BKSP that are ready for playing while all four teams can easily stay at the BKSP hostel premises during the initial phase,’ said Faruk.
‘We need to play some longer-version cricket before the Test matches to get an ideal preparation,’ he said.
‘That will also help us choose ideal squads for the Test matches, ODIs and the T20s there are certain requirements for different formats,’ added the former national captain.
Faruk, who replaced Akram Khan in the post, will began his second stint as the chief selector by announcing the team for Sri Lanka series.
The series will feature two Test matches along with two Twenty20 internationals and three one-day internationals.
The tournament committee of the BCB is expected to meet three BCL franchises – Walton, Islami Bank and Prime Bank – in this regard today. 

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