Vol. 5 Num 489 Mon. October 10, 2005  

CCL sets off season

The curtain of this year's domestic cricket goes up today with the launching of the Corporate Cricket League at three different venues.

But the one-day competition involving 12 corporate houses that replaced Damal Smriti as the season's opening competition three year's ago will seek to salvage some credibility among the cricket fans as well as five new entrants.

Araf Apparel, winners of the first edition in 2003, will take on Epyllion at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium. Gazi Tank meet new face Banglacat at the BKSP while Bangladesh Biman face another debutant Metro Real Estate at Fatullah Stadium in the opening day's fixture.

The good news for the fans is that the competition has been reverted to a 50-over-a-side contest after the experiment with the Twenty20 format last season which only appeared to satisfy the wishes of the Bangladesh Cricket Board.

After a mundane transfers last month, the lack of enthusiasm from established corporate houses left the event suffering some serious image crisis and BCB vice-president and chairman of the CCL Shah Nurul Kabir Shahin was understandably disappointed.

“It is unfortunate that we are yet to give the tournament a real shape in three years. We will not mind if the number of participating teams is reduced. Our main target is to make it a quality tournament and a corporate house should commit itself for at least three to four years in future,” said Shaheen at a press conference yesterday.

Shaheen, who was recently involved in a much publicised war of words with his general secretary Mahabubul Anam following the non-appearance of some corporate houses in the transfers, once again blamed the mismanagement on Mahbub.

“The tournament committee does not look into technical issues like the national pool. I think those wwo announced the national pool did not follow a standard which created dissatisfaction in the participating teams,” he added.

The board had introduced the CCL in an effort to ensure permanent jobs for the players and Shaheen siad that goal was being fulfilled.

“Maybe there are still areas we need to sort out but as far as I know a good number of players have already got job in different corporate houses since the start of the CCL.”

Ali Hossain, secretary of the CCL, informed that the board was expecting to make a profit of over Tk 12 lakhs from the competition.

He said that GrameenPhone had already paid Tk 25 lakh as title sponsors. Besides, the CCL received Tk 4 lakhs in entry and registration fees.

GrameenPhone, who took part in the first two editions of the competition, are not involved this time around.

"We fielded teams in the last two meets but this time we want to focus on sponsoring the event only. There was another reason. We wanted to encourage other corporate houses to come forward and play," said Kafil HS Muyeed, director of marketing of GrameenPhone.

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Grameen-Phone Erik Aas also spoke on the occasion.

Twelve teams split into two groups will take part in the first phase and then the two top finishers from each group will qualify for semifinals.

Group A: Araf, Gazi Tank, Epyllion, Ispahani, Banglacat and Security Air Express.
Group B: Biman, Beximco, Acme, Jamuna, Metro Real and Orion Group.

Shah Nurul Kabir Shahin (2nd from R), chairman of the GrameenPhone Corporate Cricket League tournament committee, addresses a press conference at the China-Bangladesh Friendship Conference Centre on Sunday. GrameenPhone CEO and Managing Director Erik Aas (2nd from L) was also present. PHOTO: STAR