National stalwarts to star for respective division
The 17th edition of country’s premium first-class competition, National Cricket League, will start today in four venues under a new format, with eight participating teams splitting in two tiers.
Defending champions Rangpur will take on Dhaka Metropolis at Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra while Khulna will host Dhaka at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in the two first round matches of the top-tier.
In the lower echelon, Rajshahi will host Barisal at Shaheed Kamruzzaman Stadium while Chittagong and Sylhet will face off at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium at Fatullah in the opening round.
Some senior national cricketers are expected to steal the show in opening round, playing their
first NCL match in many days.
Sakib al Hasan will play his first NCL match in three years when he will take the field for Khulna against Dhaka Metropolis.
Sakib, currently the top all-rounder in the world in all three formats, last played an NCL match in 2012, also at the same ground against Rangpur. That was his only match of that season and first in four years.
It means today’s match will be Sakib’s only second one in NCL in seven years. He will be joined by two other national team colleagues Imrul Kayes and Mustafizur Rahman in the Khulna team, the faviourtes for the upcoming editions.
Sakib will find fellow national cricketer Mahmudullah in the opposition tent as the right-hander will lead Dhaka Metropolitan side.
Among other national cricketers, Test skipper Mushfiqur Rahim will play for Rajshahi side in second tier while his deputy Tamim Iqbal will lead Chittagong against Sylhet at Fatullah.
Both Mushfiq and Tamim missed the previous edition of NCL.
The national cricketers are expected to play only in the opening round before they resume their preparation for the home series against Australia.
-With New Age input