The 19th edition of National Cricket League will start today in four separate venues of the country, according to the itinerary of Bangladesh Cricket Board.
The first round encounters will be played from September 15 to 18 and matches will be held in two tiers—just like the previous edition of NCL.
In the Tier-1 matches of round-1, defending champions Khulna Division will meet Rangpur Division at Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna while Dhaka Division will play against Barisal Division at Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium in Cox’s Bazar.
All the four matches of the eight-team fray will begin at 9:30 am.
Place in bottom of the Tier-1 of the last edition, Dhaka Metropolis were relegated to Tier-2 while Rangpur advanced to Tier-1 as the topper of the Tier-2.
After a recess of three days, the second round of NCL will commence from September 22.
Veteran cricketer of Bangladesh Mashrafe Mortaza will return today in the white jersey after a gap of three years. The ODI captain of Bangladesh will be playing for Khulna Division in this season of NCL. It will be his 55th match in the white jersey.
Mashrafe last participated in NCL in 2014. He missed the 2015 edition due to Dengue fever and didn’t play in the 2016 season because of fitness and injury problems. Persistent injuries made it impossible for the veteran pacer to continue in this long format tournament.
Mashrafe has been frequently absent in the longer formats of cricket from 2009 when he suffered a major injury in West Indies tour. From that time, he has played only four first class matches including three NCL matches and one on Bangladesh Cricket league.
Besides, Bangladesh will be playing against South Africa in a month long away tour. NCL will the national cricketers because of their 45-day long tour in South Africa.