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Bangladesh tour of India in jeopardy after players announce strike

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Bangladesh’s national cricketers have pulled out of all cricket activity until their country’s cricket board meets their demands for the improvement of cricket.

At a press conference at the National Cricket Academy in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s cricketers announced a list of 11 demands, among them a reversal of the BCB’s decision to scrap the Bangladesh Premier League’s franchise-based model that has eaten into the players’ salaries, a pay hike for the country’s first-class cricketers, improvements in infrastructure and availability of round-the-year coaches and training facilities, clearing of pending dues from the Dhaka Premier League, and an increase in the number of centrally contracted players.

Shakib Al Hasan was among those leading the player strike

The move puts next month’s tour of India, where they are scheduled to play three T20Is and two Tests, from November 3 onwards, under a cloud. “Apart from the Under-19s and the other age-group teams, all first-class and national teams are included. From today,” Shakib Al Hasan, among the players present at the press conference, said. “From the National Cricket League to first-class, national team preparations, internationals… everything is included.

“When the demands are met, normal service will resume. All of us want cricket to improve. Some of us will play for another ten years, some for four-five years, but we want to create a good environment for the players who will come after us, so Bangladesh cricket can move forward.”

The move is a consequence of longstanding discontent among players, with regard to the state of cricket in the country. Although the press conference only included members of the national men’s team, Shakib said Bangladesh’s women cricketers were welcome to join the cause.

“We haven’t been able to include the women cricketers here, because it was done in a rush. If they have any demands, they are most welcome to join us. I am sure they have grievances too. If they come to us and join us, we will be able to put forward their demands too.”

Nizamuddin Chowdhury said that the BCB would look into the players’ concerns, but didn’t buy into the theory that they were revolting

Commenting on the development, BCB chief executive officer Nizamuddin Chowdhury said that the board would only take remedial measures when the complaints have been addressed to them through a formal platform.

“We just came to know about it,” Chowdhury said. “We will discuss it in the board and try to resolve it as soon as possible. I don’t think it is anything like revolt. They are yet to tell us anything formally, but we are looking into the matter.”

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