Metro, Chattogram eying Tier-1 promotion as NCL kicks off Thursday
||CF Correspondent ||
Dhaka Metro’s Mahmudullah takes on Tamim Iqbal’s Chittagong Division as the 21st National Cricket league begins across different venues with some exciting battle to offer on the very opening round.
Unfortunately both Metro and Chittagong is placed in second tier and it is obvious that the duo would try to guide their respective sides into the first tier by helping them begin their campaign on the right note.
Mahmudullah’s Dhaka Metro will face of Tamim Iqbal’s Chittagong Division at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
Though both of them are not regulars in the NCL as Tamim last played the NCL in 2015 while Mahmudullah last appeared in 2017, they are the ones expected to be hogging the entire spotlight in the opening phase.
Three more games on the opening round will be held at different venues across the country.
In tier-1 game, Rajshahi will take on Dhaka at Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah while Rangpur will battle with Khulna Division at Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna in another tier-1 game.
Barishal will lock horns with Sylhet Division at Shaheed Kamruzzaman Stadium in Rajshahi in tier-2 game.
Bottom table team of Tier-1 will be relegated to Tier-2 while top placed team of Tier-2 will move to Tier-1.
Dhaka Metro’s Elias Sunny believe they have the right balance as a team and would make an attempt to get them promoted in the first tier while he added that having Mahmudullah beside them will be an inspiring affair for them.
‘’The seniors are playing together for a while and naturally it helps to gel as a team and we feel we are a balanced side in every aspect,’’ Sunny told reporters at the academy premises on Wednesday.
‘’When an international performer comes to play in the domestic league naturally he manages to have an impact.Last year he[ Mahmudullah] was not with us but this year he is playing with us and it’s a big plus for us,’’ he said.
‘’We want to plan differently and want to play match by match but our main aim as a team is to get us promoted in the first tier,’’ he added.
Chattogram coach Aftab Ahmed said that he is delighted to guide his hometown as a head coach and added that he is looking forward to bring back the old glory of their division in cricket.
‘’We are thankful to BCB to give us[ former cricketer] a chance to do coaching. I am very excited because I am the coach of Chattogram for the first time. We are stuck in the same place for the last eight to 10 years and I feel we will be able to change that and return back where we belonged,’’ said Aftab.
‘’We see in the media that it is called as the picnic league but BCB is trying to change that and in order to do so they are trying to change so many things. As we were professional cricketers we still have that professionalism and our first aim is to put our focus on cricket and try to change the atmosphere of the tournament that is labeled as picnic cricket,’’ he said.
‘’I am trying to bring professionalism back into the Chattogram set-up and only trying to say that Tamim and Mominul earned their place in the national team by playing in the NCL,’’ he said.
‘’If those players can turn out to be the future of our national team coming from this tournament it can be the same for them and for us that will be the first step of progress,’’ he added.
Aftab added that the presence of Tamim will be extremely crucial for them in the dressing as he feel the experienced opener can share his knowledge with the young cricketers.
‘’It is big thing for us[ Tamim avalibility]. We are probably debuting four to five cricketers tomorrow. Those who will make their debut will have the chance to share the dressing room with Tamim and there can be nothing bigger than that,’’ said Aftab.
‘’He is coming after a while and he is returning to do something good for us and if that is the case it will be better for our team and I am highly excited with Tamim’s presence.
Today we met for the first time and he have taken his preparation individually and he even worked out with trainer and physio separately. The way he had been working only suggest he will make a comeback in a massive way,’’ he said.
Bangladesh cricketers are set to start their preparation for the upcoming India tour by taking part in the National Cricket League, country's traditional first-class tournament, scheduled to start across the country from October 10. Bangladesh, who were recently humbled by Afghanistan at home in a one-off Test, will open their Test championship campaign with the two-match Test series against India.
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