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Coronavirus: DPL postponed for indefinite time

  • Published at 09:41 am April 15th, 2020
Dhaka League
Abahani Limited and Partex Sporting Club players avoided handshakes as a measure of coronavirus precaution during their DPL match Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

The premier 50-over cricket tournament of the country was first postponed on March 16 as per the government directive with growing concern of coronavirus in Bangladesh

Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League has been postponed for indefinite period of time. Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis [CCDM] came to the decision on Wednesday afternoon.

 The premier 50-over cricket tournament of the country was first postponed on March 16 as per the government directive with growing concern of coronavirus in Bangladesh. Later on March 19, Bangladesh Cricket Board [BCB] declared postponement of all cricket activities in the country.

 The CCDM had then decided to wait till April 15 to assess the situation. However with no improvement of the situation and the country in lockdown since March 26 till April 25, CCDM has come to its fresh decision.

“On March 16th the Dhaka Premier League was suspended as per the government directive. After further discussion among the BCB directors the BCB president [Nazmul Hasan] further clarified that the league will be suspended until we reach a situation where all activities may start,” said CCDM chairman Kazi Inam to Dhaka Tribune on Wednesday.

 “As the country is in an effective lockdown since March 26th until April 25th, it is not possible for us to set a date to start the Dhaka Premier League at this point. The health and well being of everyone involved with our cricket community is our first concern,” Inam added.

As per update of Wednesday afternoon, Bangladesh’s death toll from coronavirus went to 50 with four more deaths, and recorded its highest single-day increase with 219 new cases in 24 hours time frame. The total number of coronavirus cases in the country now stands at 1,231. At the same time, seven patients had recovered fully, taking the number of recovered cases in the country to 49.

It is understood that the decision from CDDM has been based on the matter that the clubs had kept their operation for the season on standby. Many clubs in the league rent apartments to accommodate their players and they have been bearing expenses of that despite the league being suspended.

The situation has put earnings of the cricketers into uncertainty. Cricketers that are not part of any contract with the board are facing the biggest challenge. Many cricketers in Dhaka League are lone earners for the family and this one income supports them throughout the year. BCB had aided the non-contracted cricketers participating in Dhaka League with a one-time amount of Taka 30,000 to support their expenses because of the league's postponement and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Cricketers that are not part of first-class contract will be harmed the most. Many of them run their family from the earnings from Dhaka League. We all want the tournament to take place whenever we recover from the situation [of coronavirus in the country]. The cricketers had discussions among themselves and believe we will have enough time to complete the season if we the situation betters. If board president wants then it is possible for the tournament to start from the point it got suspended,” said one of the seasons old campaigner of the domestic circuit- Marshall Ayub.

Out of favor Bangladesh opener Shamsur Rahman hopes the tournament will resume whenever the country recovers from the situation.

“Honestly, majority of the cricketers wait for this Dhaka League to happen as it is a key tournament for earning and run the family for the rest of the year. But at the same time we also need to understand that it is difficult to have the tournament going in this situation. Life is important than anything else. Sport is suspended throughout the world. As a sportsman I will like to believe that whenever the situation gets back to normal, we will have the tournament resume. Not all clubs have paid to the cricketers. As a player it is worrisome given you have Ramadan and Eid approaching. Everyone has a family to run,” said Shamsur.    

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