‘Hopeful about India tour’

Sports Correspondent

23 October, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hasan Papon said on Tuesday that he is hopeful that India series will go as per schedule.

Bangladesh’s upcoming tour of India, starting November 3, is now in doubt as the players of the national side called a press conference in the capital and announced that they will not take part in any cricketing activities unless a 11-point demand made to the cricket board is met.

This also means that they will not partake in the ongoing National Cricket League season, as well as the upcoming camp for the tour of India.

Senior players like Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mushfiqur Rahim and Tamim Iqbal were all present at the press conference that also had a big group of first-class cricketers standing by in support.

“I am hopeful that practice camp will be held and the India series will go on as per schedule,” Nazmul told reporters during a press conference at BCB Corporate office in the capital on Tuesday.

“I still believe that most of the cricketers want to play. I don’t believe that only for small increment of remuneration they will destroy the cricket of the country,” he said.

“Why did they not come to me with their problems before starting their protest? There is a deep-rooted reason behind their strike, everyone doesn’t know about those reason, only one or two players are aware of it,” he said.

BCB called an emergency meeting of its Board of Directors on Tuesday in response to the players’ strike. They have less than forty eight hours to convince the players to play the next round of the first-class National Cricket League matches in four venues across the country, and just a little more time to convince them to join practice camp for the tour of India. The India tour begins on November 3.

Cricketers put out an eleven-point list of demands on Monday, which they said must be fulfilled before they take part in any on-field activities. A majority of those demands are financial commitments that the board has to make publicly. Apart from the reinstatement of previous model of player transfer in Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League, the players understand that the rest of the points can only come into effect from next year.

According to Nazmul, all the demands could have been met but apparently it seemed the players wanted to cash in before the India series.

“I don’t think there is any legitimate demand because either their demands are met or in the process of being met,” he said. 

“We do everything for the betterment of the cricketers and all of a sudden they are saying they won’t play. It is simply shocking. What I feel is that someone is pulling the strings. We know who are behind this conspiracy,” he said.

“The basic objective of this strike is to spoil the practice camp and India tour, some outsiders are have masterminded this, there could also be some help for some insiders. We will find it out, but we should ask the boycotters what development this strike would bring for cricket,” he said.

Nazmul said the India tour will go on despite the players’ boycott.

BCB president insisted that they have already accepted most of the demands of the players and if anything was left they were willing to talk.

“We are open to talk. But they (players) don’t even receive our calls,” he said.

Players’ demands include respect from BCB members, restoration of the previous pay structure in Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League, a promise for returning to franchise-based Bangladesh Premier League from the next season, at least one lakh taka as match fee for National Cricket League, at least thirty players in national payroll and fifty percent rise in the salary of first-class players.

The players’ announcement came at a time when Bangladesh are scheduled to start their preparations for forthcoming India tour on October 25.

Tigers will play three Twenty20 internationals and two Tests in India, with the series starting with first Twenty20 international on November 3 in Delhi.