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The curious case of resuming Dhaka Premier League

  • Published at 06:26 pm October 19th, 2020
DPL
Abahani and Partex players avoided handshakes as a measure of coronavirus precaution during their DPL match in March this year Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

Planning and executing the resumption of the premier 50-over tournament of the country would have huge challenges, claimed BCB director Mahmud

Resumption of this year’s Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League has turned into one curious discussion in the cricket fraternity. 

Bangladesh Cricket Board’s efforts to bring cricket back to the field, after a break of six months, with the President’s Cup has so far been successful, and surely giving confidence to the governing body of cricket in the country. 

BCB is planning to take a bigger step forward by arranging a Twenty20 tournament with the involvement of at least five teams in November. 

However, planning and executing the resumption of the premier 50-over tournament of the country would have huge challenges, claimed BCB director Khaled Mahmud. 

Former Bangladesh captain Mahmud is in favor of the tournament not taking place this year, and instead pushed back to January, 2021. 

BCB suspended this year’s DPL following the first round of matches along with all other cricket activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is not that I have been given the charge [to work on starting the Dhaka League]. We have Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis chairman and his team to work on this. I have been told by the president [Nazmul Hasan] to see how we can resume the tournament and honestly, it is very complicated,” said Mahmud to the media at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Monday.

“Here [in the President’s Cup] we are dealing with only three teams and later we will have to manage around five to six teams in the T20 tournament. In the Premier League we have 12 teams and around 270 people to manage including the management of each team. Managing accommodation for these many people and to create a bio-secure bubble is a big challenge.

“We are still looking for the best suitable place where we can keep the teams. Speaking of the games, having the tournament played even in single league will mean a team will have to play at least 10 matches,” the former all-rounder added.

Mahmud emphasized on the importance of the meeting between CCDM and club representatives. 

The BCB director also hinted that chances of the tournament taking place in the remaining months of the year are slim, and that it can be played in January even if the national cricketers are not available, as agreed by the clubs. 

BCB is aiming to host the West Indies in January, 2021 for a month-long series.

“The board needs to sit for international meeting and decide before the meeting between CCDM and the clubs. We first need to set a concrete plan. We have two venues in mind – BKSP and Cox’s Bazar - but then again, the challenge remains in managing so many people. In the worst case scenario, even if a single person with the team gets infected there is chance of it spreading within the team, thus making the team unable to play,” said Mahmud, orchestrator of the U-19 team’s World Cup success earlier this year.

“But we want the tournament to take place as we all know Dhaka League is a big financial support for many cricketers. So let the President’s Cup finish first, then we will work with a bigger group in T20 tournament and then we can think of Dhaka League.

“It is not possible this year. We can start in January because we are already committed to the T20 League, which will take place in November-December. We can then think of Dhaka League, get the clubs to practice and their teams to come together, so I don’t think it can happen before January. 

“I don’t think it should be a problem [with the West Indies series taking place in January]. Premier League players will play the league and this has happened before. Now if the clubs think we will not play without our [national team] players then we may have to think of it differently.”

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