Bangladesh Cricket Board [BCB] and Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis [CCDM] had suspended the tournament following its first round matches in March last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic
Bangabandhu Dhaka Premier Division T20 League, an alternative to the unfinished edition of the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League of last year, is set to raise its curtain on Monday.
The league will be played in the shortest format instead of traditional 50-over affairs and six matches will be played in a day at three different venues to fit-in the available small window between international cricket commitments. Bangladesh Cricket Board [BCB] and Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis [CCDM] had also aimed to get the cricketers play a T20 competition as a preparation for the ICC World T20 scheduled later this year. The tournament will be played in double league format. The first game of the day will begin at 9am while the second at 1.30pm.
Bangladesh Cricket Board [BCB] and Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis [CCDM] had suspended the tournament following its first round matches in March last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the morning games of the first day of the competition, Mushfiqur Rahim’s Abahani Ltd will take on Partex Sporting Club at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. Legends of Rupgonj will face Old DOHS Sports Club at BKSP Ground 3 and at the field next to it, at BKSP Ground 4, Prime Doleshwar Sporting Club led by Marshal Ayub will take on Brothers Union.
In the afternoon matches Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi will face Khelaghar Samaj Kallayan Samity at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. At BKSP Ground 3, Prime Bank Cricket Club featuring Bangladesh ODI captain Tamim Iqbal will lock horns with Mahmudullah’s Gazi Group Cricketers. Ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan will lead Mohammedan Sporting Club in their game against Shinepukur Cricket Club at BKSP Ground 4.
Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi led by wicket-keeper batsman Nurul Hasan will miss out from the service of former Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza. The veteran right-arm pacer was part of the fold when the tournament started last year but now Mashrafe has pulled himself out citing he is unprepared for the competition.
The squads of the 11 participating clubs are same from last year except for Mohammaden who signed Shakib for the season earlier this month. The left-arm all-rounder was not part of the competition when it started last year as he was serving a yearlong ban imposed by the International Cricket Council [ICC] for failing to report corrupt approaches. This Dhaka League season is also Shakib’s first in five years.
Players and officials participating in the tournament are kept inside bio-bubble residing at four different hotels of Dhaka. At least 11 Covid-19 positive cases were reported during initial tests. Necessary steps were taken to address the situation and many results of the positive results had returned negative in tests that followed.
CCDM chairman Kazi Inam Ahmed emphasized that the collective efforts and will of the stakeholders were the major reasons behind the resumption of the tournament.
“It was a daunting task to arrange a tournament of this scale amid the Covid-19 situation. There are 12 teams and there are many who financially depends on this tournament, it was important for the tournament to happen,” said Inam at the title sponsor declaration ceremony on Sunday.
Walton has been named as the title sponsor for Bangabandhu Dhaka Premier Division T20 League 2019-20.
“The toughest job was for us to create the bio-bubble and I would like to thank BCB, logistics, the board CEO and medical committee for the support. BCB has already arranged local tournament and international series, so were implementing the learning from those experience. All officials and players had to go through two Covid-19 tests. Even the drivers and the assistants of the team busses have been tested and have been provided accommodation,” the BCB director explained.
Given the change of the tournament format and considering the ongoing pandemic situation, the cricketers have agreed to reconsider their remuneration from what they had contracted ahead of the tournament last year.
This season the cricketers got to sign with their desired teams as the CCDM lifted the Players’ by Choice system.
“We have requested the clubs to not cut any remuneration of cricketers who have signed for below Taka 10 lakhs and those who are contracted for more than Taka 10 lakhs shall not have a deduction of more than 20 percent. I had discussion on the reduction of the fees with the cricketers several time. During the Bangabandhu T20 League [in November-December last year], they said they would even agree to pay-cut to help starting the tournament. I would like to thank the players for taking such step,” said Inam.