Cricket

Shakib believes regular BPL will improve country’s cricket

Ace all-rounder Shakib al Hasan believes playing Bangladesh Premier League T20 ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup would have benefited Bangladesh cricketers but the preparation so far has been of at a sufficient level.

Bangladesh national cricket team this year has played 16 T20Is– three each in New Zealand and Zimbabwe and five each against Australia and New Zealand at home. In domestic level, the cricketers have played T20 format in the Dhaka Premier League.

Speaking to the media Shakib emphasized of having BPL T20 to return in glorious shape and that the tournament should have a fixed schedule for the positive impact it has on the local cricketers. Bangladesh Cricket Board [BCB] amid the hectic schedule of the national team is mulling to organize the T20 tournament in January next.

BPL T20 had a severe down-slide in 2019 following dispute between the Bangladesh Cricket Board [BCB] and the franchises. The tournament that year was completed with make shift team sponsors with hopes of getting back to its old form soon by solving the dispute with the franchises. However, in 2020 the world was hit with Covid-19 pandemic and the BCB thought it was best to have a T20 tournament later in the year with participation of local players.

“It will be good for the cricketers if BPL T20 happens regularly and has a fixed schedule. Last year [in 2020] we had a Bangabandhu T20 tournament based with participation of local players only due to the Covid-19. We had Dhaka Premier League this year played in T20 format,” said Shakib during a commercial event at a Dhaka hotel on Sunday.

So, I think we have played enough of T20s in domestic too. But still, I think BPL should have a fixed schedule and teams. It is possible for the tournament to get more organized. It is possible for this tournament to generate players for us because the tournament is competitive as overseas players are involved. I think the board is also keen to have BPL in an organized way. The time slot for the next tournament has already been set,” he added.

Bangladesh in T20 World Cup, set to take place in UAE and Oman from October 17 to November 15, will first have to play the qualifiers to reach the main event. Bangladesh in the first phase of the competition have been slotted in Group B and will contest with Oman, Papua New Guinea and Scotland. In Group A, Ireland, Netherlands, Namibia and Sri Lanka will contest for two main round spots. The groups were selected on the basis of team rankings as of 20 March 2021.

Bangladesh cricket team is likely to travel to Oman early October and play at least three unofficial practice matches as a part of the conditioning camp.

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