With the hope of a more competitive event, the 21st edition of the most prestigious First-class cricket competition of Bangladesh, the National Cricket League (NCL), is set to be kicked off tomorrow in the four different venues of the country.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and participating cricketers are hoping that it will be the best edition of NCL ever.
A new point system is set to be inducted in this year's NCL. According to the authority, this point system will increase the chance of bringing a result from the matches and inspire the players to play for results instead of settling down for draws.
As per the new point system, every team will get a maximum of eight points for each win while there will be only four points to be shared two each in the matches end in a draw or get abandoned. But if a match ends in a tie, both teams will be awarded four points each.
The participating teams will get the chance to earn bonus points as well as it is described in the new point system that every team can earn 0.01 bonus point for every runs over 250 within 100 overs. At the same time, if a team pick all the wickets of the opponent within 100 overs, the bowling team will get a maximum of 1.5 points as a bonus. However, bonus points will be applicable only for the first innings of each game.
Chattogram Division captain Mominul Haque believes this system will help NCL to get more competitive this time around. At the same time, he believes the players will be more focused to improve their game.
"I think it is going to be very tough competition," Mominul told the media on Wednesday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. "We have to play well to win the games and everyone will be more focused on NCL."
Like the previous edition, this NCL will also be played under two Tiers. In the Tier-one, Rangpur, Dhaka and Khulna will lock the horns along with the current champions Rajshahi while in Tier-two, Barishal, Sylhet, Chattogram and Dhaka Metro will face each other.
The team who will end the league at top of the table in Tier-one will be awarded the championship while the team with fewer points will be demoted to Tier-two for the next edition. On the other hand, the team who will be the champions of Tier-two will be promoted to Tier-one in the next season of NCL.
Along with the new points system, NCL may draw the attention of the fans due to the participation of the national stars. The player likes of Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah Riyad, Sabbir Rahman, Soumya Sarkar, Mustafizur Rahman and Rubel Hossain are all set to play in NCL.
Marshall Ayub, the captain of Dhaka Metro, believes the participation of the national player will change the image of NCL. He said: "Most of the national players are participating in NCL, which will make this event more important to the youngsters. They are excited to have the chance to share the dressing room with the national players."
In the opening round of NCL, the defending champions Rajshahi will face Dhaka at Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah while other two teams of Tier-one- Rangpur and Khulna- will lock the horns each against others in Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna.
In Tier-two, Barishal will play Sylhet in Shaheed Qamaruzzaman Stadium in Rajshahi while Dhaka Metro and Chattogram will play in Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka.
Squads of the National Cricket League:
Barishal Division: Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Mosaddek Saikat, Shahriar Nafees, Mohammad Ashraful, Shohag Gazi, Fazle Rabbi, Monir Hossain Khan, Md. Salman Hossain Emon, Md. Nuruzzaman, Tanvir Islam, Shamsul Islam Anik, Towhidul Islam Russel, Moin Khan, Rafsan Mahmud
Chattogram Division: Tamim Iqbal, Mominul Haque, Sadiqur Rahman, Pinak Ghosh, Yasir Ali Rabbi, Tasamul Hoq, Mahidul Islam Ankon, Masum Khan Tutul, Mehdi Hasan, Noman Chowdhury, Minhajul Abedin Afridi, Shakawat Hossain, Irfaan Sukkur, Naeem Hasan
Dhaka Metro: Shadman Islam, Rakin Ahmed, Shamsur Rahman, Mahmudullah Riyad, Marshal Ayub, Al-Amin, Jabid Hossain, Saikat Ali, Arafat Sunny, Md. Shahidul, Abu Haider Rony, Manik Khan, Mohammed Elias, Aminul Islam Biblob
Dhaka Division: Nadif Chowdhury, Shuvagata Hom, Rakibul Hasan, Rony Talukdar, Abdul Majid, Taibur Rahaman, Nazmul Islam Apu, Saif Hassan, Shahadat Hossain, Joy Raj Sheikh, Salauddin Sakil, Sumon Khan, Shakil Ahmed, Ridoy Khan, Jubair Hossain
Khulna Division: Imrul Kayes, Soumya Sarker, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Tushar Imran, Nahidul Islam, Robiul Islam Robi, Amit Majumder, Ziaur Rahman, Khan Abdur Razzak, Imranuzzaman, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Al-Amin Hossain, Hasanuzzaman
Rajshahi Division: Junaid Siddique, Mizanur Rahman, Jahurul Islam, Avishek Mitra, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahaman, Mohaiminul Khan, Farhad Reza, Taijul Islam, Shafiul Islam, Shafiqul Islam, Saqlain Sajib, Shakhir Hossain, Mohor Sheakh
Rangpur Division: Mehedi Maruf, Fardeen Hasan, Mahmudul Hasan Limon, Naeem Islam, Nasir Hossain, Tanbir Hayder Khan, Shohrawardi Shuvo, Alauddin Babu, Sajedul Islam, Subashis Roy, Sanjit Saha, Robiul Haque, Myshukur Rahaman, Hamidul Islam Himel
Sylhet Division: Imtiaz Hossain Tanna, Jakir Hasan, Jakir Ali Anik, Alok Kopali, Shahnur Rahman, Enamul Haque Jr., Rahatul Ferdous, Adu Jayed Rahi, Imran Enam, Ebadot Hossain, Toufiq Tusher, Nasum Ahmed, Ruhel Mia, Mizanur Rahman Sayem, Rejaur Rahman Raza