Test and T20 captain Shakib Al Hasan said Monday that Bangladesh will no longer participate in any cricketing activities until the players’ 11-point demand is met by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB). If the country’s cricket board fails to come to an agreement with the players, then the unprecedented step could cast a shadow over their tour of India, which starts from November 3.
A Daily Star report said that the cricketers including Shakib, Tamim Iqbal, and Mushfiqur Rahim gathered at a ground in Mirpur to put forward their demands and to announce that they were going on strike. After calling a press conference, the players declared they will boycott all cricketing activities.
The report further stated that the national cricketers who play in the first division circuit were already a part of the strike and no age-level cricketers, seeking the 11-point demand, have now included themselves in the protest.
“We have to respect the local coaches, physios, trainers, and groundsman. They get really a little amount of salary at the end of the month,” senior opener Tamim Iqbal said on behalf of the players at the press conference.
Highlighting the low wage that the first-class cricketers receive, Shakib said, “Match fee for the first-class cricket should be increased to one lakh (Bangladesh Taka), which is now 35 thousand only. At the same time, the salary of first-class cricketers also should be increased by 50 percent. A first-class cricketer gets only 1500 taka as the daily allowance. I don’t think this is enough for a cricketer in order to get a healthy lifestyle. At the same time, we are demanding to increase the travel allowance. We will be happy if BCB ensures the air tickets for traveling for the First-class cricketers around the country.”
Mahmudullah, who was also present for the press conference stated that the players have been unhappy for a long period now. “We get a very low amount as our remuneration from Dhaka league. We used to contact the club in our own way previously. Now, our demand is to go back to the previous model of the Dhaka league,” he said.
A CricBuzz report says that among the demands made by the Bangladeshi cricketers include the absence of a salary cap in the Dhaka Premier League, a club List A tournament in Bangladesh and the country’s popular T20 leagueBangladesh Premier League (BPL) should retain its format.
The players have sought that the BPL shouldn’t be modified to the format followed by the Big Bash League (BBL). The players have also demanded that local cricketers should be paid as much as foreign players.
Responding to the protest by the cricketers, BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury said that the players are yet to send a formal letter to the cricket board but they will still look into the matter and try to resolve it in the coming days.
“We just came to know about it we will discuss it in the board and try to resolve it as soon as possible. I don’t think it is anything like revolt. They are yet to tell us anything formally, but we are looking into the matter,” Chowdhury was quoted by CricBuzz as saying.
India responded with a guarded statement, calling it Bangladesh’s internal matter. “The BCCI will wait and watch the developments closely. This is an internal matter of the Bangladesh Cricket Board and until and unless we hear from them, there is no need for us to make any comments,” a senior BCCI functionary told PTI.
BCCI president-elect Sourav Ganguly said in Kolkata that he was confident that Bangladesh will not call-off the series. “It is the internal matter of BCB but it’s not under my purview,” Ganguly told reporters in Kolkata.
The development comes a month after BCB decided to get rid of the franchise-based model in BBL, thus resulting in the fall of the income of the cricketers. Adding to the discontent among the cricketers was the board’s failure to raise the match fees in the first-class competition, which began earlier this month.
Bangladesh are scheduled to travel to India for a three-match T20I series, which will be followed by a two-match Test series in November.