A lot of talented Bangladeshi cricketers fail to translate their talent into execution in international cricket, especially in the longer version of the game as they fail to adapt properly in test matches due to lack of proper temperament. Addressing the issue, BCB started a second four day first class tournament named Bangladesh Cricket League (BCL) in 2012-2013 to allow the local players play as many quality longer version games as possible. In the last NCL 160 players participated for eight teams. But, in BCL only the top 80 players participated in the first edition of the 4 team “Franchised based” tournament, making the competition more competitive in nature.
The four franchises for the first season were Walton Central Zone, Prime Bank South Zone, Islami Bank East Zone and the BCB North Zone. The opening match was of Walton Central Zone against the Prime Bank South Zone on 27 December, 2012 and the exciting match ended in a draw. After the initial group matches, Central Zone topped the table with 14 pts in 3 matches and North Zone ended up with 13 pts of equal matches.
BCB tried bringing more color to the intense first class tournament’s final match by making it a five day long day-night game and pink balls were used for the first time in a first class match in Bangladesh. In the exciting final match, Central Zone bagged the first BCL title beating the North Zone by 31 runs.
Marshall Ayub of Central Zone was the highest run scorer of the tournament with 465 runs with a majestic average of 77.50. Shohag Gazi topped among the bowlers with 19 wickets in 3 matches.
Walton Central Zone:
The team was formed from the best players from the two first class teams of NCL-Dhaka Metropolitan and the Dhaka Division. The current Vice-Captain of the national team, Mahmudullah Riyad, was the captain for the central zone. Other start players were Raqibul Hasan, Mohammed Ashraful, Marshal Ayub etc.
Prime Bank South Zone:
Two southern divisional teams-Khulna and Barisal formed the South Zone team. The veteran left-arm spinner of the country, Abdur Razzak was the captain of the team. Imrul Kayes, Anamul Hoque, Sohag Gazi were the key players in that team.
Islami Bank East Zone:
Top 20 players from the Chittagong and Sylhet teams were called for the East Zone. Alok Kapali from Sylhet was assigned the captaincy and among other notable players were Mominul Hoque, Rajin Saleh, Enamul Hoque.