BCB breaks promise again

Atif Azam

1 April, 2020 12:00 AM printer

The current Finance Minister, A H M Mustafa Kamal had taken a great step for the Bangladesh cricketers when he was the Bangladesh Cricket Board [BCB] president. In 2012 for the first time, the first-class cricketers were brought under the agreement of BCB. Since then, the first-class cricketers of Bangladesh have been getting salary from BCB on a monthly basis. At that time, the salaries of cricketers in the ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ grades were 25 thousand, 20 thousand and 15 thousand respectively.

Eight years have passed. A lot of changes were held in Bangladesh. But the salaries of first-class cricketers in Bangladesh have increased only once. That’s also only 15 percent. This was implemented by BCB two years ago. After raising the salary of the cricketers in the ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ grade, the salary is standing at 28 thousand 750, 23 thousand and 17 thousand 250 respectively.

In terms of performance and fitness, the number of cricketers in the contract list increases and decreases. Last year, 79 first-class cricketers were in the agreement. This time, 12 players have been increased. Now the contracted cricketers are 91. All those who have passed the last National Cricket League (NCL) fitness test are in the agreement. However, Shahadat Hossain Rajib due to discipline and Mohammad Sharif who has not played any matches in the last season are not on the list.

On October 21 last year, the cricketers of the country called cricketing strike. The cricketers withdrew their strike after negotiations between the two sides where BCB agreed their majority of the demand. In their 13 demand, one of the demands they raised was to raise the salaries of first-class cricketers. Cricketers demanded a pay raise of at least 50 percent.

After 15 days of the strike, BCB raised the match fee and other allowance at a significant rate. In the first level of the National Cricket League, the match fee raises from 35 to 60 thousand, and in the second level, 25 to 50 thousand BDT. BCB increased the travel allowance, daily allowance and accommodation also.

But the promise of raising the salaries of first-class cricketers has not yet been implemented. One cricketer, who was reluctant to be named on Tuesday, said: “The BCB told that they accepted all the demands. Then this also should be implemented. BCB can say about it well. Our demand was to increase the salaries by 50 percent. Match fees, various allowances were increased but the salaries of first-class cricketers were not increased.”

The selectors under the BCB’s Cricket Operations division make this list of first-class cricketers. Akram Khan, chairman of this department, said the pay hike was under the tournament committee. He said on Tuesday that, “It is not under me. It is under the tournament committee. They can say about it. However, we increased their match fees and other allowances at that time, as per their demand.”

However, the BCB tournament committee chairman Ghazi Golam Mortaza Pappa could not be found. He did not even receive the cell phone calls.

Earlier, in a dramatic U-turn, the Bangladesh Cricket Board refused to increase the number of contracted national players significantly despite promising to do so last year after players’ revolt.

During their unprecedented strike in October, the players had demanded the BCB to include at least 30 players in the national contract and the authorities had also promised to consider the matter.

Accordingly, the selectors had submitted a list of 24 cricketers in January for the approval of the Board but the BCB had sent back the list for some modification.

BCB president Nazmul Hasan Papon had admitted it after their January 12 meeting saying that they wanted to bring some new players in the list, though he did not mention any number.

BCB published the new list of contracted players, which included 16 cricketers and only seven of them got a full-fledged contract for both red-ball and white-ball.

The BCB introduced separate red-ball and white-ball contract for the first time this year in order to be more accommodative but turned it rather to a punishing measure for some underperforming players.