What is the National Cricket League in Bangladesh?

The National Cricket League is one of the two major first-class men’s cricket competitions of Bangladesh. Played in the test cricket format, the tournament was first held in 1999-2000. However, it was only in the following season that the tournament got a first class status after the addition of Bangladesh as one of the International Cricket Council’s test-playing nations.

The National Cricket League is played between eight teams that represent seven regions of Bangladesh. There is no representative team from the Mymensingh Division. Hence, Dhaka has two representative teams. As of 2024, the eight teams are Dhaka Division, Dhaka Metropolis, Sylhet Division, Rangpur Division, Chittagong Division, Khulna Division, Rajshahi Division, and Barisal Division. The tournament is governed by the Bangladesh Cricket Board.

The tournament follows a promotion-relegation format along with a double round-robin in the league stages. The teams are divided into two tiers: Tier 1 and Tier 2. After every edition, the team placed fourth in Tier 1 is relegated to Tier 2, whereas the first placed team in Tier 2 is promoted to Tier 1 in the next edition.

In both tiers, each team plays the other twice. A match win is worth two points, a shared result, no result, or a tie is worth one point for each team, and no points are awarded for a loss. If the teams are tied at the same number of points, the net run-rate decides the better team. A bowling team gets 0.5, 1, or 1.5 bonus points if they can pick up five, seven, or ten wickets respectively in the first 100 overs. Additionally, teams get one extra bonus point for winning two consecutive matches.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines, who won the tournament’s inaugural edition as a first-class tournament is the only defunct team of the competition. Dhaka division is the most successful side, having won eight titles.

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