• Sunday, Dec 08, 2019
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Cricketers withhold strike after BCB meeting

  • Published at 08:04 pm October 23rd, 2019
BCB
BCB president Nazmul Hasan and Shakib al Hasan react during the press briefing in Dhaka Wednesday Dhaka Tribune

BCB president Nazmul Hasan said the board has agreed with most of the demands submitted by the players and the players are content

The Bangladesh Cricket Board Wednesday night accepted nine of the 13-point demands, thus bringing an end to the three-day long strike called by the national and first-class cricketers of the country. 

The revolting cricketers Wednesday night met BCB president Nazmul Hasan and other high-ups at the BCB office at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka to resolve the issues and get back to the field. 

The National Cricket League, the premier first-class tournament of the country, was put on hold but will now resume from Saturday and Saturday, the national cricketers will join the camp for the tour of India, scheduled for next month. 

The two parties reaching a common ground has also removed doubts over Bangladesh’s much-anticipated tour of India comprising two Test matches and three T20Is.

Nazmul following around a two-hour meeting with around 60 to 70 cricketers declared that the board has accepted nine demands.

“We cannot come to a decision on CWAB (Cricketers’ Welfare Association of Bangladesh), it is not a body of the board. I am sure the cricketers and the CWAB can come to a decision on this. The other point we need time to think of is allowing the cricketers to play more than two overseas franchise leagues in a year,” said Nazmul to the media at the BCB headquarters.

Cricket’s regulatory body of the country could not decide on points 12 and 13 as well, which were added freshly Wednesday.

The cricketers in their newly added demands pressed on transparency and accountability of income and expenditure in Bangladesh cricket in the interest of all its stakeholders. 

The cricketers demanded that professional cricketers be given a fair share of the revenue generated by BCB through commercial exploitation of cricket and its associated interests, which, after all, is made possible through the toil and performance of the professional cricketers in the first place. 

A cricketer's welfare, provident and compensation fund and insurance scheme has to be established and administered, which will ensure welfare of cricketers who have fallen on hard times, pensions to retired cricketers and compensation to injured cricketers.

The cricketers also added that the practical and commercially feasible and similar provisions will have to be made for female cricketers as well, with the ultimate objective of attaining gender parity as early as possible.

“Problem was the demands were sent to us through a Barrister. The moment we see a letter coming, we send it straight to our legal team. Now we know that it was just a letter, so we will look into the points and decide,” Nazmul informed.

Bangladesh Test and ODI captain Shakib al Hasan spoke on behalf of the protesting cricketers. 

“Most of the demands have been accepted and will be discussed further. We will however, be happy only after the demands are implemented. The discussion [Wednesday] with the board was fruitful,” said Shakib.    

The Bangladesh cricketers Monday called off participation from all activities as they announced 11-point demands to improve the state of the game in the country.

On the third day of the strike, the cricketers however, appeared in a more organized way having hired a lawyer as their spokesperson, and added two more demands to their tally. 

Following the press conference held by the cricketers at a city hotel Wednesday evening, the cricketers reached the decision to meet the BCB. 

Day three of the strike found a sturdy BCB switch to a softer tone towards the cricketers. 

There was a general feeling that the press conference by Nazmul Tuesday had irked the cricketers more. 

Personal attacks towards the cricketers rather than agreeing an amicable solution to the conflict had raised doubts over the longevity of the protest.

But as it happened, the BCB Wednesday made a desperate move to communicate with the cricketers and bring them to the round table to discuss and make efforts to resolve the situation. 

Such intention by the BCB came after the meeting between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Nazmul Wednesday afternoon. 

“We [the cricketers] here are not against any individual and we are absolutely clear that no other parties are influencing the movement. The cricketers here are only asking for a better and secured structure of cricket in the country,” said the cricketers’ spokesperson, Barrister-at-Law Mustafizur Rahman Khan during the media session.