After a gap of one season due to the Covid-19 breakout in the country, the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League (DPDCL) is back. The league, which has been rebranded as Bangabandhu DPDCL to celebrate the birth centenary of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, is all set to kick off on Monday.
A total of 12 Dhaka-based clubs are participating in this event including Abahani Limited and Mohammedan Sporting Club— the two most popular sporting clubs in Bangladesh. Along with the national team players, all the top cricketers of the country are going to compete in this event.
Tamim Iqbal, the ODI captain of Bangladesh, will represent Prime Bank Cricket Club in Dhaka League and he will also lead this team. Two other national captains Mahmudullah Riyad and Mominul Haque will play for Gazi Group Cricketers. Mahmudullah will lead them in the league.
Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan will represent Abahani and Mohammedan respectively and they will also lead these teams.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has announced the schedule of the first five rounds of the league. A total of six matches will be played each day at three different venues— Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium and field number 3 and 4 of BKSP.
In the opening game, Abahani will take on Partex Sporting Club in Mirpur. Mohammad Saifuddin, Abahani’s allrounder, said they are looking forward to playing a good brand of cricket and clinching a win in the first game.
“We had a chequered start to the last season which was later cancelled at this venue,” Saifuddin said the media. “We lost five wickets in 60 runs against Partex, but Mushfiqur and Mosaddek (Hossain) did well, and I also contributed well scoring a quick 40, and eventually won the game. So Partex is not an easy team to beat. We have to play well against them to win the match.”
Saifuddin also said he is eager to use his batting ability more for the team. “I know I won’t get a chance to bat at the top-order or middle-order. But I would like to request the team management to give me a chance to bat at an upper place in some matches. I have contributed to the team well with the bat earlier.”
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On the same day, Mohammedan will take on Shinepukur Cricket Club at BKSP. Mohammedan batsman Shamsur Rahman said he is so happy that the league is finally taking place.
“It’s great that the league is going to happen this year,” he told the media. “We have been waiting for a long time to get back to the field. If the league was stuck at the table it would affect our cricket in a bad way. So I would like to thank the board for making it happen.”
Shamsur also said that it’s a good fate for Mohammedan to have Shakib as their captain. He said: “It’s a plus point for us to have Shakib in the team. Not just us but Shakib brings advantage for any team in the world. His inclusion increases our chance to lif the title, but we know we have to go step by step.”
All the cricketers who are going to take part in Dhaka League will have to maintain a strict bio-secure environment. The board is accommodating all the players and officials in four different hotels in the capital so that they can get a secure environment.