After long speculations and after much chaos, the Dhaka Premier League (DPL) commenced on September 10. With not much action in the offing and Bangladesh cricket getting embroiled in off-field controversies, the DPL breathed some life into Bangladesh cricket. After all, it's the battle between bat and ball that matters the most to fans and cricketers of Bangladesh.
The DPL has started with a bang. On the opening day, at Rajshahi, while chasing Prime Bank's huge total of 334 - courtesy Ziaur Rahman's swashbuckling 89, Mahmudul Hasan's breezy 54 and PBB Rajapaksa's quickfire 107, Brother's Union found the going tough. They lost the match, but the Shahid Kamruzzaman stadium at Rajshahi witnessed an inspiring knock which made the environment absolutely electrifying.
Nafees Iqbal turned into a one-man show with a sizzling knock of 150 off 140 balls, which included 21 boundaries and a six, to keep BU hopes alive. But sadly, none of the other batsmen could provide support to Nafees's controlled aggression.
The sad part of the whole show, though, is that cricket fans across the country, other than a few locals who were at the stadium, couldn't witness that stunning performance by Nafees, because there is no TV coverage at all of DPL. As a matter of fact, there is not even active publicity of the league. But why?
Bangladesh has so many TV channels and I think the coverage of DPL would have brought much solace to cricket-hungry people during the international off-season. If there can be enough energy, money and enthusiasm to telecast the Bangladesh Premier League, then why not our longer-version domestic formats? The Dhaka Premier League and the National Cricket League are the nurseries that groom future stars and deserve enough coverage on TV. That's why we need a separate sports channel.
In India, Ranji Trophy generates enough enthusiasm. The Indian fans and experts give it utmost importance, and their electronic media is hugely responsible for this as they deliver the action straight from the field to the living rooms, while the print media dish out amazing articles and statistical analysis to keep the nation engaged with their domestic cricket. The same thing happens in other major cricket-playing countries like Australia, England, South Africa, Pakistan, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
Sadly, that's not the case in Bangladesh. Our media as well as our sponsors need to catch the pulse of the nation. TV channels do need their fair amount of entertainment and news, but they can't ignore cricket that keeps the nation's heart beating. By doing that, they are depriving Bangladeshis of worthy cricket action.