Cricket in Bangladesh
Cricket is the most popular sport in Bangladesh. There is a strong domestic league which on many occasions also saw Test players from many countries (Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, and England) gracing the cricket fields of Bangladesh. In the year 2000 Bangladesh became a full member of the International Cricket Council, which allows the national team to play Test cricket. The Bangladesh national cricket team goes by the nickname of the Tigers – after the royal Bengal tiger.
Cricket has been played in India since the 18th century and it continued to be played in first Pakistan and then Bangladesh as these countries became politically independent.
Bangladesh had staged first-class and even Test cricket when it was part of Pakistan. The Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka was first used for Test cricket when Pakistan played India there in January 1955. It was used for numerous important matches, including Tests, right up to the declaration of independence in 1971.
Bangladeshi international cricket began in 1976/77 when the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) came to play against the Bangladesh national side. MCC played their first match against a regional team in Rajshahi with the match ending in a draw. The first unofficial Test against the MCC was played at Dhaka on 4 January 1977.
The Bangladesh national team then went on to play against teams like Sri Lanka, Deccan Blues and MCC in the later years. The first ICC trophy tournament in England was represented by Bangladesh in 1979 and also in 1982 when Bangladesh went on to play in the semi-final. Bangladesh went on to win the ICC tournament in 1997.
The national team played England A in Chittagong on 25–27 October 1999. The match was drawn. On 10–13 November 2000, Bangladesh played its inaugural Test Match v India in the Bangabandhu National Stadium. India won by 9 wickets.
The 2000–01 season saw the beginning of first-class domestic competition in Bangladesh, although the country had already staged first-class matches against touring teams in the previous year. The Green Delta National Cricket League was constituted as the first-class championship and the Ispahani Mirzapore Tea One-Day League as the premier limited overs competition. In 2000–01, both titles were won by Biman Bangladesh Airlines.
The National Cricket League had in fact been inaugurated in the 1999–2000 season but was not then first-class. In 2000–01, eight teams played 12 matches each in two groups. Group A consisted of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Chittagong Division, Rajshahi Division and Dhaka Division. Group B had Dhaka Metropolis, Khulna Division, Barisal Division and Sylhet Division. Four teams qualified for a final stage in which they each played a further 8 games.
In 2001–02, Ispahani Mirzapore Tea became the sponsor of the National Cricket League in addition to the One-Day League. Now Sahara sponsor the national team.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) (known then as the Bangladesh Cricket Control Board) was established in 1972. Bangladesh is a full member of the International Cricket Council and the Asian Cricket Council.
The Bangladesh Cricket Control Board was established in 1972. Soon after, a cricket league commenced in Dhaka and Chittagong. A national level cricket tournament begun in the country in 1974–75. During this time the cricket league started at the district (regional) level. Other tournaments that were organised were aimed at school, college, youth and university level.
The National Cricket League of Bangladesh is the domestic first class cricket competition in Bangladesh. The One-Day Cricket League of Bangladesh is the principal domestic limited overs cricket competition in Bangladesh. In 2010, the Bangladesh NCL T20 was launched which was a Twenty20 tournament. This tournament was dropped after its first and only season, and was replaced by the Bangladesh Premier League in 2012. The Bangladesh Premier League is a Twenty20 league with six franchises based on the concept of the Indian Premier League and has attracted many international players.
Notable ODI and Test venues are:
- Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka (No longer hosts cricket)
- Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium, Mirpur, Dhaka
- Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Cricket Stadium, Fatulla, Narayanganj
- Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
- MA Aziz Stadium, Chittagong
- Shaheed Chandu Stadium, Bogra
- Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium, Khulna
- Sylhet International Cricket Stadium, Sylhet
- Sheikh Kamal International Stadium, Cox's Bazar
Bangladesh is a full member of the International Cricket Council with Test and One Day International status. It played its first Test match in 2000 (against India at Dhaka), becoming the tenth Test cricket playing nation.
Bangladesh also has an active women's team which gained One Day International status after finishing 5th at the 2011 Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifier. The women's team also claimed the silver medal at the 2010 Asian Games cricket tournament.
- Bangla Cricket: The official cricket site for Bangladesh cricket fans. Come here for latest information on Bangladesh cricket, live discussion, breaking news and much more.
- Cricinfo-Bangladesh: Home of cricket on the internet. Cricinfo offers the most comprehensive live coverage of international and domestic cricket in Bangladesh as well as in other cricket playing nations.
- Tiger Cricket: The official web site of Bangladesh Cricket Control Board.
- CricBD: Cricket, Bangladesh and Beyond. Bangladesh cricket news, scorecards, player profiles, statistics, and discussion forums.