Abahani Limited, the powerhouse of local sports, regained the title of the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League, most high statured one-day tournament in the country
The year 2018 marked the 18th anniversary of Bangladesh getting Test status and although many questions loomed regarding the infrastructure, quality of domestic cricket and many irregularities regarding it, the year at least saw two first-class tournaments - National Cricket League and Bangladesh Cricket League - held successfully.
Rajshahi, one of the most successful divisions in the NCL, regained their supremacy after hat-trick of titles of Khulna as the former gained 34.81 points in six matches, leaving behind Rangpur, who got 24.59 points, in second position.
That actually speaks volumes about the strength of the cricketers in the northern part of the country as Rangpur, who won the title back in 2014, was once part of Rajshahi and become a different entity as Rangpur became a division back in 2010.
Meanwhile in tier two, Dhaka edged past Dhaka Metropolis to get promoted to tier one.
On the other hand, Barisal, who were the only winless side in tier one, will be demoted to the lower tier as they finished at the bottom.
There are some mentionable personal successes and it was more encouraging for the country’s future as some of the youngsters ruled the roost in the tournament.
The 17-year-old bowler from Chittagong was the latest inclusion in the @BCBtigers bowling attack, and marked his arrival with a record five-for against the West Indies in the first Test match in Chittagong last month.https://t.co/xeiVpm8vlT#BCBTIGERS #BCB #TIGERS #BANGLADESH— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) December 25, 2018
Nayeem Hasan, who turned 18 this month, was the highest wicket-taker with 28 wickets in six matches and the off-break bowler of Chittagong returned with the best figure of this year’s NCL when he got 8/106 against Dhaka.
As a matter of fact, he improved his career best last week when he grabbed 8/47 for Islami Bank East Zone against Walton Central Zone, and finished with 2018’s best first class-figure in an innings in Bangladesh.
Nayeem was rewarded richly as he was given a chance in the Test matches against the West Indies and the teenager repaid the faith by picking up a five-for on debut.
The similar happened with Shadman Islam, who made highest 648 runs in the NCL, as the 23-year old made a good half-century on Test debut against the Windies.
However, experienced campaigners like Tushar Imran and Naeem Islam, who scored 518 and 444 runs respectively, could not impress the national selectors enough.
Naeem, the 31-year old, maintained his form in the BCL, scoring 522 runs, but it was another experienced player, Abdur Razzaq who stole the show as the 36-year old scalped 44 wickets, highest in BCL, and also led his side Prime Bank South Zone to a successful title defence.
Razzak spins South to record fourth BCL title https://t.co/l97r3wzrIG#SouthZone won the #BangladeshCricketLeague after defeating BCB #NorthZone by nine wickets at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Cricket Stadium in Chittagong.— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) December 27, 2018
This was the fourth title for South Zone, out of seven editions, and Razzak must also thank another national team’s out-of-favour Anamul Haque, who scored 658 runs to top the list of run-getters in the BCL.
Meanwhile, Abahani Limited, the powerhouse of local sports, regained the title of the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League, most high statured one-day tournament in the country.
The traditional outfit formed a strong team with the combination of youth and experience.
The statistics also proved the perfect blend, as the 20-year old Nazmul Hossain Shanto was the highest run-getter with 749 runs at an average of over 57, while Mashrafe bin Mortaza, the charismatic skipper of Bangladesh ODI team, became the highest wicket-taker, grabbing 39 wickets with a brilliant average of 14.61.
The bonding and the success between Mashrafe and Abahani, two of the most iconic names in Bangladesh cricket, made for a happy story in the domestic arena.
CLUB COMPETITIONS IN 2018
Tournament Champion Runners-up Most runs Most wickets
BCL South Zone East Zone Anamul Haque (658) Abdur Razzak 34
DPL Abahani Rupganj Nazmul Shanto (749) Mashrafe Mortaza (39)
NCL Rajshahi Rangpur Shadman Islam (648) Nayeem Hasan (28)