Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced on Monday that they are launching a domestic Twenty20 tournament from February 25 to March 3.
The initiative was taken largely as part of promoting the shorter-version cricket among the local cricketers as it is considered to be their weakest link across formats.The twelve participating teams of Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League (DPL), country’s traditional club-based tournament, will take part in the T20 tournament.
The tournament will be played in four groups on league basis among the twelve participating club teams during the week long T20 extravaganza while each group champion team will advance to the semi-final.
The two semi-finals are scheduled for March 1 while the final is scheduled to be held on March 3 while the tournament is likely to be named as Dhaka Premier League (DPL) Twenty20 Cricket Tournament-2019.
The announcement came after the players draft for the upcoming edition of DPL was completed. The event took place in a local hotel with all the participating teams involved in the upcoming DPL, country’s traditional club-based 50-over tournament.
“We decided to launch the T20 tournament which will be played between the 12 participating teams of DPL,” Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis Chairman Kazi Inam Ahmad told reporters at the press conference.
“Initially it will be organized in a small scale. So, we decided to complete the tournament within a week time but in future we will try to expand the scale,” he said.According to Inam, the initiative was taken as they want to make this T-20 tournament the breeding hub for Bangladesh Premier League, country’s franchise based T20 tournament.
In Bangladesh there is only one Twenty20 tournament- BPL while some other Test playing nations have several shorter format tournaments. As a result their pace of improvement in the shorter format is quite fast.
While BPL is dominated by foreign cricketers and some leading stars of the national set-up, it has hardly been productive for developing local cricketers as most of them are ignored by the franchises. As a result Bangladesh failed to produce quality T20 players in the last five years despite BPL’s success.
During the last edition of BPL, several national cricketers which included Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad stressed on the importance of a local Twenty20 tournament for developing local talents.
“I think this is the first step forward to take T20 cricket ahead in our country,” said Inam.
“For example there is Syed Mushtaq tournament in India and lot of cricketers come to the IPL (Indian Premier League) from it after showcasing their talent in the tournament,” said Inam,
“We want to make this T-20 tournament quite similar to it (Syed Mushtaq Tournament) where we can give potential T20 cricketers a solid platform to show their talent,” he said.
“Until that platform is created we won’t be able to take our T20 to the next level,” he said. That is why this tournament will be played only with local cricketers,” he said.
“This year we are just starting out but I am confident that we will be trying to organise it in a grand manner from the upcoming seasons,” he said.