13th NCL Aims to Raise Level of Competitiveness

With the 13th National Cricket League season due to begin on 17 October, following a tournament committee meeting on Tuesday, 4 October 2011, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced some changes, and clarified some issues. It was decided that the 2011-2012 National Cricket League will follow the same format as before. Matches will be played at neutral venues, with the top four playing in the Super League, and the best two playing a five-day final in April 2012.

The eight-team event will include Dhaka Metropolis and Rangpur Division, along with the Chittagong Division, Dhaka Division, Rajshahi Division, Barisal Division, Khulna Division, and Sylhet Division. The Dhaka Division and Dhaka Metropolis team members will be chosen by the national selectors, while division coaches will be responsible for selecting players forming the other six divisional teams.

With the NCL being the only first-class competition played in Bangladesh, it was decided that foreign cricketers will be permitted to participate. Each team can register up to three players from overseas, with the proviso that these players are current first-class cricketers. However, it must be noted that teams will be permitted to field only one foreign cricketer per game. It is anticipated that this concession will raise the level of competitiveness in the upcoming National Cricket League. Should divisions include foreign players in their teams, they will be responsible for paying the players, which they can do through sponsorships.

National selectors will name 32 icon players, who will be chosen from among cricketers who have represented the national team and A team of Bangladesh. Each team will have a maximum of four icon players, although it is unclear as to whether allocations will be influenced by regional affiliation. Divisions are required to form advisory committees consisting of no more than seven members, regulated by the divisional commissioner. Players contracted to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (Tigers) are obliged to appear in the NCL, unless they have international commitments.

Other news from the Bangladesh Cricket Board is the decision to organize a franchise-based T20 tournament to take place in the first three months of 2012. The aim of the T20 tournament will be to attract experienced international players, while at the same time searching out new cricketing talent among players within Bangladesh.