The second round of the first-class domestic competition National Cricket League will begin today in four different venues across the country where the players will get one last chance to prove their worth in the longer-format before the India series.
Bangladesh national team is set to begin their camp from October 25 ahead of the three-match Twenty20 international and two-Test series against India in November, which would make most national players unavailable from the third round, barring a few number of Test specialists.
With the squad for India tour yet to be announced, a number of national team players will be desperate to regain their form in the second round after their poor show in the opening round.
Sabbir Rahman scored 11 runs in two innings including a duck for Rajshahi while Soumya Sarkar made 36 of his lone innings and took one wicket for Khulna and Mosaddek Hossain remained wicketless and scored just five in one outing.
National stalwarts like Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah fared well in the first round with one fifty each for Rajshahi and Dhaka Metro respectively while Tamim Iqbal was still struggling to find form, playing two dogged 30-plus innings for Chattogram in the first round.
Out of favour opener Imrul Kayes, on the other hand, staked his claim to a national comeback with an unbeaten double hundred for Khulna, and has an outside chance of forcing his way into the national side if he carries on his form.
Bangladesh A team players will join the NCL after a successful tour of Sri Lanka, where they beat the hosts 2-1 in the one-day series, with 12 players joining their respective division’s for the second round.
The players are - Nazmul Hossain, Sunzamul Islam for Rajshahi, Mohammad Mithun, Anamul Haque, Mahedi Hasan for Khulna, Saif Hasan for Dhaka, Ariful Haque for Rangpur, Mohammad Naim for Dhaka Metro, Afif Hossain, Abu Jayed for Sylhet and Yasir Ali, Mehedi Hasan Rana for Chattogram.
Young all-rounder Afif, who was slated to play for Khulna, jumped ship to Sylhet due to Khulna’s already having their players quota complete.
Bangladesh Test team captain Sakib al Hasan, who returned to Dhaka on Wednesday night after a successful campaign in the Caribbean Premier League, won’t feature in second round of NCL as well.
Pacer Mustafizur Rahman is set to play in the second round for Khulna, after missing out from the first round as he was recovering from an ankle injury and leg-spinning all-rounder Aminul Islam is also set to make his first-class debut for Dhaka Metro.
Wicketkeeper batsman Liton Das will also play his first match of this year’s NCL for Rangpur while off-spinner Sohag Gazi will play for Barishal under special consideration after failing to meet the required beep test number.
In tier-1, Dhaka division will take on Rangpur division at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram while in Khulna the hosts will face Rajshahi division at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium.
Barishal division, who beat Sylhet division in their first round match, will face Chattogram division in Fatullah while Sylhet will try to redeem themselves from the early loss against Dhaka Metro in Bogura in the tier-2 matches.