Former Bangladesh captain Mohammed Ashraful will mark his return to domestic cricket today after serving a five-year ban with a two-year suspended sentence as he plays for Dhaka Metro against Dhaka Division in one of the opening matches of the four-day Walton LED 18th National Cricket League.
Ashraful was banned for his involvement in the spot-fixing scandal during the 2013 Bangladesh Premier League.
“Recently my father passed away so I am very upset. But I am hoping that coming back to cricket will help me to take my mind off things and recover mentally,” Ashraful said yesterday night when contacted over phone, adding that he was already in Bogra for today's match.
Other than the all-Dhaka match in Bogra, Khulna will host Barisal in the other first-tier match. Meanwhile, Rajshahi will host Sylhet and Rangpur will meet Chittagong in Sylhet in the second-tier matches of the opening round.
The teams have been divided into two tiers based on their positions in the previous edition of the league.
The matches in each tier will be played in a double-leg league format and the top finisher in Tier 2 will be promoted to Tier 1 for the ensuing season, while the team which finishes bottom in Tier 1 will be relegated to Tier 2.
Matches in each tier are to be played in a double-leg format and top finisher in Tier 2 to be promoted to Tier 1 for the ensuing season while the team finishing bottom in Tier 1 to be relegated to Tier 2.