Thursday will mark the start of the 25th season of the National Cricket League (NCL), but regional organisers are still having trouble with the scheduling and organisation of one of the most significant longer-format domestic competitions. The NCL is considered to be one of the most important longer-format domestic competitions.
The beginning of the competition had already been pushed back by two days in order to accommodate players who were returning from the Asian Games in Hangzhou.
In addition, the High Performance (HP) squad’s trip to Sri Lanka beginning on October 14 would result in the absence of several important players for the NCL season in 2023. This results in a vacancy, which was already apparent due to the absence of players participating in the One-Day International World Cup now being held in India.
In the most recent iteration of the NCL, Akbar Ali lead Rangpur Division to victory, but at this point, he is only hoping to play in the remaining matches. Stars like Mominul Haque will be available, but Tamim Iqbal will not be playing for his Chattogram team since he has not been selected.
Critics have referred to the competition as a “picnic tournament” since the scheduling of domestic events often suffers as a result of national teams or other national duties. This has contributed to the critics’ description of the competition. Due to the fact that the HP has players sent to Sri Lanka, Chattogram Division, which finished last season in Tier 2 of the NCL, will be missing anything from five to six players.
The general secretary of the Chittagong Divisional Sports Association and an organiser from the Chattogram Division, Sirajuddin Mohammad Alamgir, said in an interview with The Daily Star that: “It’s a disappointment considering that there are a variety of programming taking place during the NCL, such as HP, Asian Games, etc.
It is challenging to compete with one’s full strength. It is necessary to pay a greater emphasis on the NCL to ensure that, with the exception of the national team’s assignment, other teams’ schedules, such as the HP or A team’s, do not conflict with the tournament. The competition shouldn’t have to be held all at once if it can be spread out over many days.
“It is impossible to generate prospects for developing players for the lengthier form of cricket if we are unable to market our first-class game. It is an issue that occurs often across all divisions when we construct a squad with a certain mentality, only to find that after one or two games, the team is around half empty. This is being done on an ad hoc basis going forward. This time, we are going to lose anywhere from five to six guys,” Sirajuddin said, adding that the competition is going to continue in a humorous manner.
The members of the national team selectors, in conjunction with the board, are responsible for ensuring that the squad has a balanced composition. However, Sirajuddin is of the opinion that the local talent pool is sometimes underappreciated.
“We had given a chance to the likes of Tamim in the past, but since divisions do not still have the responsibility, the cricket board here is deprived of judging local stars like Tamim.” There has to be some kind of chance made available to the regional organisations so that they may have their own selection panel and be able to put together stronger teams.
The tournament committee made certain changes over the previous season in order to make the competition more enjoyable for participants. There is a good chance that the event will go from a two-tier structure to a round-robin league style in order to establish a higher level of competition with players’ draughts as the BCL does.
Selector Habibul Bashar said, “Yes, it is possible that things may alter for the next season. Plans have been drafted, but unfortunately, there was not enough time to put them into action this time.
greater conversations between regional entities that have greater responsibility might be the key to taking the National Cricket League to the next level in a nation where the lengthier versions of the game are still playing catch-up to the white-ball variants.