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23 October, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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cricketers’ strike

Shocked BCB chief sees ‘conspiracy’

“We’re shocked as they never came to us with these demands before”
SPORTS REPORTER, Dhaka
Shocked BCB chief 
sees ‘conspiracy’

Reacting to the cricketers’ strike to press home their eleven-point demand, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hassan Papon yesterday expressed deep shock over the move and said he believes some people are conspiring to tarnish the image of the board. Speaking at an emergency press conference at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the capital, the BCB chief also said the same people, who have been constantly speaking against the board have instigated the country’s top cricketers to stand against the BCB. National cricketers including Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad and others, joined by first-class cricketers, placed an 11-point charter of demands on Monday which included reforming CWAB body, BPL issues, improving facilities and pay hike for cricketers, ground staff and officials and announced an indefinite strike, boycotting all cricketing activities till their demands were met.

Nazmul Hassan alleged that the strike, right before a scheduled India tour, was part of a plan to destroy the country’s cricketing image. He found the strike having no justification and said he was still hopeful of Bangladesh's upcoming India tour to take place on schedule despite the country’s cricket going through a critical juncture. The BCB chief also claimed that most of the cricketers’ demands have already been met and most importantly the board should have been made aware of the players’

demands before going for a strike. “There must have been conspiracy, otherwise it cannot happen like this,” he said.

 “This is extremely shocking and I still can’t believe myself that we would get something like this from the players. I’ve always maintained good communications with the players. They all have access to talk to me at any time,” he said.

“The conspiracy may have originated from someone in the team and also there are some people who diverted the players from outside of the board. We know those who are conspiring against cricket, but we will disclose it later,” the BCB chief said.

“We’ve seen what they (cricketers) demanded. We’re shocked because they never came to us with these demands before. Most of the demands are met and they (players) know that well. Yes for the time being, I accepted that they didn’t let us know before, but now they need to come. But still they are not coming. And what does that mean?” he questioned.

“I believe they know very well that they have nothing to tell because the demands they raised have already been met so what would they tell? And that’s why they switched off their phones and didn’t contact anyone else. If they don’t come now, how can we meet their demands,” he asked.

“And all of their activities prove that some people are behind them who misguided them and still misguiding them. They are against the country’s cricket and they want to tarnish the image of our country as well,” the BCB chief claimed.

Terming the recent strike a big blow for Bangladesh, the BCB president said, “Bangladesh cricketers getting highest opportunities compare to other players of the world.”

Referring to the pay of cricketers, Nazmul Hassan said, “At the airport, Tamim and Mashrafe asked me to increase their salaries and I had raised their salaries to Tk 4 lakh from Tk 2 lakh. No one can say they were deprived of any benefits. We’ve given Tk 24 crore to fifteen players as bonus only for their performance. Even Shakib demanded bonus after his World Cup performance. But they are going to stop playing cricket only for money is really unbelievable.”

“If there were conflicts in the opinions or we had disagreed to their demands, it would have been a different case. But it’s astounding that they didn’t inform us beforehand about their demands,’’ Papon added.

“I really can’t understand what they want. As I said earlier, most of their demands were met and the rest is in process. Still they can sit with us and the door is open for them. Now it’s their choice,” he said.

The BCB chief also rejected the players’ first demand saying that the board has no relation with the Cricketers Welfare Association of Bangladesh (CWAB) and the BCB only approved the CWAB based on players’ demands.

About the demand over Dhaka Premier League, Nazmul Hassan said he had settled their issues over ‘players by choice’ on the spot.

“About the BPL there should be no confusion because from day one it has been told repeatedly that barring the current edition, the BPL will be held in the previous model from next year,” he said.

He also rejected the fourth demand claiming that the number of contractual players has been increased. The salary scale for the players who take part in the National Cricket League (NCL) have been raised to Tk 30,000 from Tk 25,000 and Tk 40,000 from Tk 35,000, the BCB chief explained.

The players have demanded that there should be at least 30 players on the national-level payroll and first-class players should get a 50 per cent raise in salaries.

Currently the BCB has 18 players contracted for national-level and 79 in first-class. The BCB pays Tk 35,000 as match fees for NCL.

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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