Tuesday, December 10, 2019, 04:40:23 AM

Battle Lines Drawn

Saleque Sufi | banglanews24.com
Update: 2019-10-23 1:13:51 PM
Battle Lines Drawn

DHAKA: Following lodgement of 11 points demand by the cream of Bangladesh Cricketers to BCB and sharp response of BCB policy makers a battle lines has been drawn. The threat of players boycotting all cricket tournaments if not their demands fulfilled and stubborn attitude of BCB have placed the prospects of the ensuing tour of India which includes Bangladesh stepping into ICC Test Championship on the border line. Cricket admirers at home and abroad sincerely hope and believe that good senses would prevail and two sides would settle the score on the table of discussion and save the all important series.

Given the discontent among players brewing for different reasons such a situation was not unexpected. After all it is players whose wonderful performances has brought Bangladesh cricket to a level of competitiveness. We all know under very poor and inappropriate domestic cricket structure players grow. Players playing consistently well in domestic circuit are ignored. Local coaches and staff are poorly treated. Few controversial persons serve in BCB, some have conflicts of interest representing local teams and franchise at the same time remaining in the key positions of BCB. All these culminated to what has happened.

On Monday all leading players of Bangladesh cricket excepting ODI captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza MP gathered in front of BCB cricket academy building last Monday. Mashrafe who reportedly did not have any clue to what had been going on, later, announced his solidarity with players demand. Test and T20 Captain who spearheaded the group of players after announcement of players demand declared their intention for discussing with BCB. However first state minister sports stated surprise mentioning that players could have brought their issues to the attention of the authority before announcing their agitation program.

In a sharp reaction later BCB president in a press meet bitterly criticised players position saying that BCB was always sympathetic about players demand. He also said that in the given circumstances BCB has done its best to make players comfortable. However, cricket fraternity has mixed reactions. Such a situation is considered as an explosion of players discontent brewing for a while regarding alleged shabby treatments, poor playing conditions in domestic circuit, neglect of domestic cricketers, less than adequate match fees etc. Players of Under 19 team and the eaves cricket team are not included in the agitation program. Led by Shakib all leading players including Tamim, Mushfiq and Mahmudullah were together in announcing the demands. The national team and first-class players have raised not less than eleven demands.

Demands and Our Comments

The current committee has to resign immediately as there are no activities of Cricketers Welfare Association of Bangladesh (CWAB). CWAB leaders are directors of BCB as well. They have done virtually nothing to protect the players interest.

The Premier League should be the same as before. One has to pay to deal with himself. Players must have freedom to choose the team they play for.

BPL must go back to original format from 2020. Previous format had little or no issues with the players. BCB decided to change it without discussion with the franchise

Local Players payments must be raised in BPL. Compared with foreign players most of the local players got much less payment.

First-class match fees and contract salaries have to be raised, coach and physio have to be produced throughout the whole year, and practice should be arranged in each department. Very legitimate demand as for players’ fitness and conditioning coach and physio are required to be available round the year.

Good quality ball to be provided. Local cricket is played with substandard quality balls . Players suffer adjusting with Duke or Cocabura after playing with poor balls in local cricket.

Good hotels. Players in domestic cricket are provided with poor hotels having no facility for gym and swimming.

The salaries of all the domestic staff have to be raised as well as the coaches and umpires to the grounds. Local coaches and support staff are poorly paid in comparison with foreign coaches .Leading local coaches are shabbily treated

Domestic ODIs should be increased and one more T20I series is played before this year’s Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). Legitimate demand. More local competitive cricket on good surfaces is essential for raising the standard.

- The domestic calendar must be fixed.

- Payment of BPL must be paid within the stipulated time

We are aware that over the last few years rumours were going around about players’ discontent regarding dictatorial nature of BCB officials. Suddenly from somewhere some messages used to come and changes were made in the selected squad and playing eleven. A particular team and a franchise used to get undue advantages. Players playing in a particular team and franchise used to be favoured. Top performers in the domestic circuit used to get step brotherly treatment. Quality local coaches got maltreatment. Wickets and playing facilities in domestic cricket are not conducive to produce quality cricketers.

It was alleged that money from BCB fund used to be spent lavishly for air travel, accommodation and out of pocket expenses of BCB directors for international competitions abroad. During the recent CW2019 certain top BCB official reportedly stayed in the royal suite of a luxury hotel. There were allegations of some officials occasionally gambling in cassino. The relations between players and officials started getting strained. Senior official appearing in media regularly some times made derogatory remarks about senior players. Local coaches and staff got shabby treatment. Players playing in domestic cricket were accommodated in ordinary hotels and were made to travel on congested roads in non AC buses

In view of above the players raising their demand is the ultimate out burst of the discontent fuming for a while. We have sympathy for that. We also want players back in playing as soon as possible and issues resolved amicably through discussion. Players must not run the risk of ICC taking actions on Bangladesh for boycotting India tour. BCB must be patient and do not create war like situation making aggressive statements.


BDST: 1230 HRS, OCT 23, 2019


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