POST TIME: 31 October, 2020 05:30:23 PM
BCB takes first step to conduct Bangabandhu T20 Cup
Cricbuzz/ Bangalore

BCB takes first step to conduct Bangabandhu T20 Cup

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In the absence of Bangladesh Premier League this season, the Bangladesh Cricket Board has taken the first official step towards the launch of the Bangabandhu T20 Cup - a five team competition that will involve only domestic players, according to BCB president Nazmul Hasan.

The BCB, on October 27, had invited "Expression of Interest (EOI) from reputed business houses/ companies / parties / agencies / consortiums / individuals for Team sponsorship rights of the five participating teams of the Bangabandhu T20 Cup 2020 to be held in November-December 2020." Interested parties need to submit their EOI by the end of business hours on November 1.

The BCB on Friday (October 30) also announced that the players selected in the draft list for the tournament will have to undergo mandatory fitness tests before being considered eligible for the competition. The schedule for the fitness test will be announced after the finalization of the player list for the draft. The final decision regarding the entire procedure will be taken after confirmation of the sponsors for the tournament.

"We have been very encouraged by the individual fitness work done by the National Team, HP and Under 19 players during the lockdown period and the effort they had put in helped them adjust quickly when group training and matches started," BCB chief selector Minhajul Abedin stated in a press release. "We expect the other cricketers who may have been outside the set up, to show the same level of commitment to individual fitness and come prepared for the test."

The T20 tournament will be the second competition to be conducted by the BCB in the Covid environment. A three-team 50-over competition was recently held, with cricketers and members of the team management placed in a bio-bubble. BCB, meanwhile, is not convinced about hosting the remaining part of Dhaka Premier League - the country's traditional 50-over tournament involving clubs from Dhaka, which is considered to be a major source of income for the majority of cricketers in Bangladesh.

The DPL came to an abrupt halt in March after completion of the first round of the tournament. The players involved in it were hoping for some sort of a road map to resume cricket and the upcoming domestic T20 tournament is a step in that direction taken by the BCB. A large number of cricketers - domestic cricketers, players from the national team, High Performance squad, and Under-19 - are expected to be part of the draft. Cricbuzz has learnt that each team can have the luxury of picking 16 cricketers from the draft.

The BCB president, earlier this week, said that there won't be any foreign cricketers in the competition, with only overseas batsmen showing interest in playing in the tournament. "We don't want to have foreign cricketers in this tournament. We were looking for foreign cricketers and we were finding only batsmen available. What is the point in bringing only batsmen?" said Nazmul

BCB chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury told Cricbuzz that they are expecting good response from sponsors for the Bangabandhu T20 Cup. "Naturally we are expecting good response (from sponsors) as most of us are away from competitive cricket for quite some time but now corporate houses will be interested to take part in the tournament as we have successfully hosted the three-team 50 over competition following all the health guidelines that is required in the new normal environment," said Nizamuddin.

Beximco Limited, which runs Dhaka Dynamites in BPL, confirmed to Cricbuzz that they have submitted their EOI to the board.

Meanwhile, Mashrafe Mortaza and Shakib Al Hasan (recently completed his one-year ban) are expected to begin their preparations for the T20 competition. Mortaza had sustained an injury while playing football and skipped the BCB President's Cup. Shakib, who had earlier trained for a month in anticipation of playing the series against Sri Lanka, is currently in the US. He is expected to return on November 5.

Bangladesh are expected to host West Indies in January for two Tests as well as three ODIs and as many T20Is. The chief selector confirmed that the performance of players in the T20 competition will be a criteria for selection of the squad for the T20Is against West Indies.

"We were not very concerned with the performance in the BCB President's Cup as they were introduced to some sort of competitive cricket after a long gap. So it was expected they will take some time to adapt. However, that is not the case when we will be following the upcoming tournament as we expect a very competitive brand of cricket that is expected to help them prepare ahead of the international fixture," Minhajul said.