Bangladesh Cricket Board is all set to introduce Dukes balls in the upcoming National Cricket League, country’s traditional first-class tournament, scheduled from October 10 to November 17. The move was taken to replace SG balls with Dukes in the tournament largely due to the fact that national cricketers find it difficult to adjust with it when they go on foreign tours.
Bangladesh pace bowlers bowled with Dukes for the first time during the tour of West Indies. Bangladesh players are not very familiar with Dukes ball as England and West Indies are the only two countries where the Dukes ball is used, with other Test playing nations using Kookaburra and India opting for SG.
“We decided to introduce Dukes in the NCL so that our players get familiar with it,” BCB chief selector Minhajul Abedin told Cricbuzz on Saturday.
“The difference between a Dukes and SG ball is huge in terms of seam and shape and so this ball will be introduced to prepare our players properly as we have some assignments with it in the coming days,” he added.
Meanwhile, the pass mark for Yo-Yo Test is all set to be increased to 18.1 from 17.4 this year for the players keen to be part of the NCL. BCB will assess the latest fitness condition of its first-class players during the preseason fitness camp that will end on September 5.
Following the fitness camp, a two-week-long skill camp will be held before the four-day tournament gets underway. A pre-training fitness test for the NCL players is expected to be held on September 5 from where the BCB will assess the latest fitness condition of its first-class players.
The fitness test will be followed by a three-week camp while the final fitness test will be conducted on September 25. After that, a two-week-long skill camp will be held before the four-day tournament gets underway.
BCB is also trying to make sure that there is eight millimeter grass in the wicket during the NCL while all the teams must take a new ball after 80 overs.
The match fees of the players have been increased in both Tier 1 and 2 as the winning team players of Tier 1 will get BDT One Lakh each, while the runners-up, third, and fourth team players of Tier 1 will receive Tk 80, 70, and 60 thousand, respectively.
Champions and runners-up team players of Tier 2 will get Tk 60 and 55 thousand each, while third and fourth team members will receive Tk 50 thousand each.