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BanglaCricket Article

After two unscheduled delays, Ispahani Mirzapore Tea 9th National Cricket League is finally set to start on 19 October, 2007. Matches will be played in seven different venues on a home and away basis. This will be the first domestic season under the new BCB and the selectors have made some significant changes to the divisional squads. Here is the team-wise pre-season build up and performance review from Banglacricket.

Pre-season review of National Cricket League 2007-08

Published: 8th October, 2007

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Prelude

Domestic cricket represents the depth of cricketing strength for any Test playing nation. Bangladeshi domestic cricket, as may be expected from the newest member of the Test family, is still at a developmental phase. Bangladesh inherited a rich cricketing history, as it was initially part of Bengal and then East Pakistan. Dhaka Stadium (Current BNS) hosted Test matches during the Pakistan era. After gaining independence, it took a while for Bangladesh to enter the world cricketing arena. In 1976-77, an MCC side first toured Bangladesh. This was followed by unofficial and official tours of different teams of various Test playing nations. Bangladesh gained associate membership of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 1976 and in 1979 first participated in the ICC trophy. In 1994-95, England became the first Test playing nation to send an A team to Bangladesh. Bangladesh enjoyed limited success in the ICC trophy and against the different touring teams but cricket gained enormous popularity in Bangladesh. Bangladesh finally won the 1997 ICC trophy and qualified for the 1999 World Cup for the first time. After a dream 1999 World Cup in which they defeated Pakistan, Bangladesh gained Test status in 2000.

At the time of gaining Test status, there was no First Class cricket league in Bangladesh. Prior to gaining Test status, Bangladesh started a national cricket league involving 12 teams that was not a First Class tournament. During that time, Dhaka Premier Cricket League, a limited overs tournament, was the main cricket competition in the country. Cricket leagues were played in almost every district town but all were shorter versions of the game.

Bangladesh started its maiden First Class competition under the name of the 'National Cricket League' involving six divisional teams (Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Khulna, Barisal and Sylhet) Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Dhaka Metropolitan team from the 2000-2001 session. A national one-day (list A) league also started during the same season. From the 2001-2002 season, the National Cricket League involves only the six divisional teams. These six teams play a home and away league.

Roll of Honor of National Cricket League (First Class)

  • 1999-2000 Chittagong (not First Class)
  • 2000-01 Biman Bangladesh Airlines
  • 2001-02 Dhaka
  • 2002-03 Khulna
  • 2003-04 Dhaka
  • 2004-05 Dhaka
  • 2005-06 Rajshahi
  • 2006-07 Dhaka

Roll of Honor of National Cricket League (List A)

  • 2000-01 Biman Bangladesh Airlines
  • 2001-02 Sylhet
  • 2002-03 Khulna
  • 2003-04 Chittagong
  • 2004-05 Rajshahi
  • 2005-06 Rajshahi
  • 2006-07 Dhaka

The domestic cricket standard of Bangladesh is yet to reach the standard of Test playing nations. Over the last five years, Bangladesh has made significant improvements to the domestic cricket infrastructure and cricketing standard. With the current rate of progress, it is expected that Bangladesh domestic cricket will reach its desired standard within 5-6 years.

Ispahani Mirzapore Tea 9th National Cricket League 2007-08

After two unscheduled delays, the Ispahani Mirzapore Tea 9th National Cricket League is finally set to start on 19 October 2007. Matches will be played in seven different venues on a home and away basis. This will be the first domestic season under the new BCB and the selectors have made some significant changes within the divisional squads. Here is the team-wise pre-season build up and performance review from BanglaCricket:

Dhaka Division

Squad: Mohammad Ashraful (captain), Anwar Hossain, Uttam Sarker, Shamsur Rahman, Marshall Ayub, Al Shahriar, Sajjad Kadir (wicketkeeper), Nadif Chowdhury, Javed Omar, Mohammad Sharif, Mehrab Hossain (Jr.), Nazmul Hossain Milon, Arafat Sunny, Mahmudullah Riyad, Anwar Hossain Monir, Mosharraf Hossain, Mahbubul Alam, Shahadat Hossain Rajib, Mohammed Rafique, Mohammad Azim.

Ground: Fatullah Khan Saheb Osman Ali Stadium, Dhaka

2005-06 Position

  • First Class: 4th
  • One day: Runner up

Leading run scorers

  • First Class: Al Shahriar (593 runs @ 39.53), Mahmudullah (425 runs @ 35.41), Javed Omar (376 runs @ 94.00)
  • One Day: Uttam Sarkar (346 runs @ 49.42), Al Shahriar (192 runs @ 19.20)

Leading wicket takers

  • First Class: Talha Jubair (28 wickets @ 19.46), Mohammad Rafique (21 wickets @ 17.00), Mohammad Sharif (21 wickets @ 30.47)
  • One Day: Mohammad Sharif (26 wickets @ 26.73), Mehrab Hossain Jnr. (11 wickets @ 13.00)

2006-07 Position

  • First Class: Champion
  • One day: Champion

Leading run scorers

  • First Class: Anwar Hossain (548 runs @ 34.25), Uttam Sarkar (483 runs @ 37.15), Shamsur Rahman (434 runs @ 43.40), Marshall Ayub (429 runs @ 42.90)
  • One Day: Anwar Hossain (232 runs @ 58.00), Nazmul Hossain (225 runs @ 75.00), Mehrab Hossain (184 runs @ 92.00)

Leading wicket takers

  • First Class: Mohammad Sharif (30 wickets @ 20.50), Mosharraf Hossain (24 wickets @ 21.54)
  • One Day: Rashedul Islam (8 wickets @ 31.12), Sharifullah. (7 wickets @ 32.57)
  • 2007-08 Scenario for Dhaka

Defending Champion Dhaka is the most balanced team of the tournament. In addition to the flamboyance of national players, Dhaka has stalwart performers like Anwar Hossain, Shamsur Rahman and Uttam Sarkar who are coming out of age group cricket and played a crucial role in achieving their title in the 2006-07 season. Masrhall Ayub is showing his brilliance as an all-rounder and is a future prospect for Bangladesh cricket. Another SLA Mosharraf Hossain is taking big wickets in theNCL. Dhaka is well balanced even when they are not getting the service of national players like skipper Mohammad Ashraful or veteran Mohammad Rafique.

Verdict : Dhaka is well placed to repeat last season heroics.

Prediction : Champion

Chittagong Division

Squad: Ehsanul Haque (captain), Gazi Salauddin, Dhiman Ghosh (wicketkeeper), Faisal Hossain, Nazimuddin, Elias Sunny, Tamim Iqbal, Nafees Iqbal, Wascorni Ahmed, Masumuddowla, Shabbir Khan, Tarek Aziz, Mahbubul Karim, Aftab Ahmed, Raihanuddin Arafat, Gazi Alamgir, Ashiqur Rahman, Kamrul Islam, Sajjadul Haque Ripon, Mahmuduzzaman

Ground: Chittagong Divisional Stadium

2005-06 Position

  • First Class: Runner up
  • One Day: 3rd

Leading run scorers

  • First Class: Ehsanul Haque (955 runs @ 59.68), Gazi Salahuddin (628 runs @ 41.26)
  • One Day: Faisal Hossain (423 runs @ 60.42), Ehsanul Haque (249 runs @ 27.66)

Leading wicket takers

  • First Class: Yasin Arafat (50 wickets @ 27.18), Elias Sunny (31 wickets @ 23.45)
  • One Day: Yasin Arafat (18 wickets @ 22.33), Faisal Hossain (11 wickets @ 13.27)

2006-07 Position

  • First Class: 3rd
  • One Day: 5th

Leading run scorers

  • First Class: Gazi Salahuddin (791 runs @ 46.52) Ehsanul Haque (735 runs @ 43.23), Dhiman Ghosh (517 runs @ 34.46)
  • One Day: Dhiman Ghosh (324 runs @ 64.80), Mahbubul Karim (261 runs @ 65.25),

Leading wicket takers

  • First Class: Sabbir Khan (53 wickets @ 28.30), Saju Datta (21 wickets @ 23.52)
  • One Day: Elias Sunny (8 wickets @ 30.62), Mohammad Younus (6 wickets @ 24.50)

2007-08 Scenario for Chittagong

Despite having a formidable team, Chittagong’s achievement in the NCL has not been special since winning the inaugural tournament in 1999-2000. Batting wise, they have the strength to challenge any opposition but their bowling is indifferent. Chittagong always depends on local blokes for success and the services of Aftab Ahmed or Tamim Iqbal is not crucial for them.

Skipper Ehsanul Haque and Gazi Salahuddin will be aiming to continue their run feast to increase their stake for a national call up. They have a very capable batsman Dhiman Ghosh behind the stumps. In addition, Nazimuddin’s presence in the top order makes Chittagong one of the best batting sides of the tournament. However, their bowling is not penetrating enough to win First Class matches. Sabbir Khan is the workhorse for them, but the absence of Saju Datta might further dampen their prospect. Wascoruni Ahmed and Kamrul Islam have got the potential to become the surprise package of the tournament.

Verdict : Chittagong will be in the hunt if bowlers perform.

Prediction : 4th -5th

Rajshahi Division

Squad: Khaled Mashud (captain/wicketkeeper), Nayeem Islam, Anisur Rahman, Mushfiqur Rahman, Junaed Siddique, Hasanuzzaman Rozel, Jahirul Islam, Rabiul Karim, Rafiqul Islam, Mahbub Alam, Farhad Reza, Sohrawardi Shuvo, Saiful Islam Suhash, Mohammad Shajada, Delwar Hossain, Saqlain Sajib, Sumon Saha, Alamgir Kabir, Shafaq Al Jaber, Shakil Haider

Ground: Rajshahi Divisional Stadium

2005-06 Position

  • First Class: Champion
  • One Day: Champion

Leading run scorer

  • First Class: Naeem Islam (559 runs @ 39.92), Farhad Hossain (515 runs @ 32.18)
  • One Day: Naeem Islam (320 runs @ 45.71), Jahurul Islam (199 runs @ 39.80)

Leading wicket taker

  • First Class: Mushfiqur Rahman (39 wickets @ 18.64), Shafaq Al Zabir (25 wickets @ 20.04)
  • One Day: Shafaq Al Zabir (19 wickets @ 10.78), Kamrul Hasan (14 wickets @ 16.92)

2006-07 Position

  • First Class: Runner up
  • One Day: Runner up

Leading run scorers

  • First Class: Naeem Islam (586 runs @ 39.06), Anisur Rahman (494 runs @ 44.90)
  • One Day: Anisur Rahman (280 runs @ 70.00), Junaid Siddique (237 runs @ 47.40)

Leading wicket takers

  • First Class: Mohammad Shahzada (34 wickets @ 15.82), Farhad Reza (24 wickets @ 15.79)
  • One Day: Mushfiqur Rahman (7 wickets @ 24.14), Saqlain Sajib (7 wickets @ 27.42)

    2007-08 Scenario for Rajshahi

Rajshahi, who lost their double crown to Dhaka last season, has the firepower to regain the trophy. In termsa of batting, Nayeem Islam is one of the most consistent performers in NCL history. Jahurul Islam impressed in the last NCL and Junaid Siddique batted tremendously well on a couple of occasions where Rajshahi sneaked wins from difficult situations.

Rajshahi is well balanced in bowling; Mohammad Shahzada has been the undisputed star of Rajshai in the 2006-07 season, while Suhrawadi Shuvo has provided useful support with his slow-left arm. With backup bowlers like Farhad Reza and Shafaq Al Zabir, Rajshahi is well capable to pull out surprise wins like they did in the last two seasons.

Verdict : A balanced team for championship fight

Prediction : Runner up.

Khulna Division

Squad: Habibul Bashar (captain), Mustafizur Rahman, Jamal Uddin Babu, Imrul Kayes, Monirul Islam, Mohammad Salim, Nazmus Sadat, Nahidul Haque, Ziaur Rahman, Sahagir Hossain (wicketkeeper), Tushar Imran, Dollar Mahmud, Shakib Al Hasan, Abdur Razzak, Monjurul Islam, Syed Rasel, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Robiul Islam Shiblu, Shafiul Alam, Fariduddin Masud

Ground: Khulna Divisional Stadium

2005-06 Position

  • First Class: 6th
  • One Day: 6th

Leading run scorers

  • First Class: Nazmus Sadat (661 runs @ 55.08), Saghir Hossain (615 runs @ 32.36)
  • One Day: Nazmus Sadat (233 runs @ 38.83), Sajjadul Hasan (227 runs @ 32.42)

Leading wicket takers

  • First Class: Ziaur Rahman (30 wickets @ 25.66), Jamaluddin Babu (23 wickets @ 21.34)
  • One Day: Ziaur Rahman (12 wickets @ 22.41), Nazmus Sadat (12 wickets @ 18.58)

2006-07 Position

  • First Class: 6th
  • One Day: 6th

Leading run scorers

  • First Class: Majural Islam (564 runs @ 40.28), Sajjadul Hasan (445 runs @ 29.66)
  • One Day: Asadullah Khan (253 runs @ 50.60), Imrul Kayes (217 runs @ 43.40)

Leading wicket takers

  • First Class: Manjural Islam (34 wickets @ 18.47), Humayun Kabir (23 wickets @ 32.91)
  • One Day: Murad Khan (7 wickets @ 44.57), Nazmus Sadat (4 wickets @ 24.00)

2007-08 Scenario for Khulna

On paper, Khulna is the strongest side of the tournament, but as always they will be badly hurt due to the absence of national players for the major part of the NCL. The sad demise of last year's leading performers Manjural Islam and Sajjadul Hasan have further worsened their prospect. Dollar Mahmud and Nazmus Sadat must step up to compensate their last season failures while good contributions from opener Imrul Kayesh and fighting Sahagair Hossain can transform Khulna into a formidable side. Skipper Habibul Bashar’s quest to find his batting form can further boost Khulna.

With national bowling quartet Mashrafe Mortaza, Abdur Razzak, Syed Rasel and Shakib Al Hasan, Khulna bowling is fearsome, but except Manural Islam they lack quality backup bowlers when the quartet will be on national duty. Young duo Dollar Mahmud and Ziaur Rahman need to provide effective support to Manjural for major part of the league.

Verdict : Lack of bench strength is the weak point and they have to fight hard to avoid the last place

Prediction : 5th – 6th.

Sylhet Division

Squad: Rajin Saleh (captain), Alok Kapali, Imtiaz Hossain, Golam Mabud, Golam Mowla, Golam Rahman, Saif Mahmud, Rezaul Haque, Tapash Baishya, Nazmul Hossain, Hasibul Hossain, Enamul Haque (Jr.), Saju Datt, Mushfiqur Rahim (wicketkeeper), Sirajullah Khadim, Nabil Samad, Sharifullah, Nizamuddin Ripon, Rashedur Rahman, Sadiqur Rahman

Ground: Sylhet Divisional Stadium

2005-06 Position

  • First Class: 5th
  • One Day: 4th

Leading run scorers

  • First Class: Golam Mabud (721 runs @ 37.94), Imtiaz Hossain (550 runs @ 30.55)
  • One Day: Golam Rahman (233 runs @ 38.83), Imtiaz Hossain (245 runs @ 30.62)

Leading wicket takers

  • First Class: Hasibul Hossain (57 wickets @ 16.00), Enamul Haque (22 wickets @ 28.90)
  • One Day: Hasibul Hossain (17 wickets @ 24.82), Nabil Samad (11 wickets @ 11.27)

2006-07 Position

  • First Class: 5th
  • One Day: 3rd

Leading run scorers

  • First Class: Alok Kapali (744 runs @ 41.33), Imtiaz Hossain (654 runs @ 34.42), Golam Mawla (474 runs @ 43.09)
  • One Day: Alok Kapali (294 runs @ 73.50), Sadiqur Rahman (204 runs @ 40.80)

Leading wicket takers

  • First Class: Nabil Samad (34 wickets @ 25.32), Alok Kapali (22 wickets @ 35.29)
  • One Day: Nabil Samad (8 wickets @ 24.12), Alok Kapali (7 wickets @ 28.42)

2007-08 Scenario for Sylhet

Despite some entertaining performances, Sylhet is yet to prove themselves as a top side in the national cricket league. They are slowly but surely improving every season but pre-season captaincy debate between Rajin Saleh and Alok Kapali may cause a problem for the upcoming Sylhet side. In addition to Rajin and Alok, Sylhet is blessed with the three Golam brothers (Golam Rahman, Golam Mabud and Golam Mawla) who are consistent performers of the NCL. The innclusion of Mushfiqur Rahim as wicketkeeper-batsman will further boost their revival hope. Promising batsman Imtiaz Hossain was one of the leading run scorers of last season and Sylhet will rely on him to launch a title bid.

Last year Sylhet has witnessed the evolution of Tapash Baisya as an all-rounder. He will spearhead the bowling department with the likes of Enamul Haque Jr. and promising youngster Nabil Samad. The competition between Sirajullah Khadim and Saju Datt for their place will definitely benefit Sylhet.

Verdict : A revolutionary year for Sylhet, but off-field captaincy debate should remain outside equation.

Prediction : 3rd.

Barisal Division

Squad: Shahriar Nafees (captain), Hannan Sarkar, Imran Ahmed, Raquibul Hasan, Nasiruddin Faruque, Shaheen Hossain (wicketkeeper), Abul Bashar, Arafat Salauddin, Ali Arman Rajan, Talha Jubair, Sajjadul Islam, Debobroto Paul, Lablur Rahman, Tarikul Islam, Humayun Kabir, Ahsanullah Hasan, Raisul Islam, Proshenjit Bose, Monowar Hossain, Ariful Haque.

Ground: Abdur Rab Serniabat Stadium, Barisal

2005-06 Position

  • First Class: 3rd
  • One Day: 5th

Leading run scorers

  • First Class: Imran Ahmed (589 runs @ 34.64), Nasiruddin Faruque (510 runs @ 46.36)
  • One Day: Imran Ahmed (302 runs @ 30.20), Hannan Sarkar (238 runs @ 23.80)

Leading wicket takers

  • First Class: Arafat Salahuddin (34 wickets @ 20.64), Sajidul Islam (22 wickets @ 30.72)
  • One Day: Arafat Salahuddin (13 wickets @ 20.15), Monir Hossain (10 wickets @ 24.80)

2006-07 Position

  • First Class: 4th
  • One Day: 4th

Leading run scorers

  • First Class: Arafat Salahuddin (613 runs @ 43.78), Imran Ahmed (517 runs @ 30.41), Hannan Sarkar (513 runs @ 30.17), Roqibul Hasan (498 runs @ 83.00)
  • One Day: Roqibul Hasan (267 runs @ 66.75), Nasiruddin Faruque (213 runs @ 71.00)

Leading wicket takers

  • First Class: Tariqul Islam (26 wickets @ 33.00), Arafat Salahuddin (22 wickets @ 29.04)
  • One Day: Ariful Haque (8 wickets @ 21.50), Monir Hossain (8 wickets @ 34.87)

2007-08 Scenario for Barisal

Barisal is the fighting side of the NCL and achieved considerable success despite their "weakest side" tag for the last two seasons. The scneario is not very different this year and we can expect to see yet another gritty Barisal team who can prove experts wrong. Their batting remains the strength for Barisal with players like Shahriar Nafees, Hannan Sarkar, Arafat Salahuddin and wonder boy Roqibul Hasan filling the first four slots. Imran Ahmed and Nasiruddin Faruque are also making their presence felt in the domestic arena.

Good all-round performance by Ali Arman and Arafat Salahuddin coupled with the comeback pursuit of Talha Jubair can cover-up their bowling weakness. Lack of national players can be a blessing in disguise for Barisal

Verdict : A fighting Barisal can surprise title contenders.

Prediction : 4th – 5th .

 

About the author(s): Khondaker Mirazur Rahman spends as much time on BanglaCricket as on his Post-Doctoral research on Gene Targeted Drug Design. Like a true scientist his articles are all well researched. He goes by the nick "Miraz" on our forums and is also a BanglaCricket editor.

 

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