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BCB sees ‘conspiracy’ behind strike by BD cricketers

BCB sees ‘conspiracy’ behind strike by BD cricketers

Dhaka, Oct 22 (UNB) – Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hasan on Tuesday said some people are conspiring to destroy the image of Bangladesh cricket abroad and instigating the country’s top cricketers to stand against the board.

The BCB president came up with the remark in an emergency press conference at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in the city.

“We’ve seen what they (cricketers) demanded. We’re shocked because they never came to us with these demands before. Had they come to us we would have accepted all the demands,” Nazmul told the media.

On Monday, top Bangladeshi cricketers, including national stars like Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad, came up with 11-point demand, and they said they will abstain from all cricket activities until the demands are met by the authorities.

“We guess this step of the cricketers is just to destroy the future of Bangladesh cricket. We know who’re involved in these activities. You all will come to know it soon. We just don’t find any reason behind stopping playing cricket,” Nazmul further told the media.

“I’m shocked because they didn’t come to me with their demands. I’ve personal contacts with them. They keep asking for help on various issues all the times. But I don’t know why they didn’t come to me for this. We’ve given Tk 24 crores as bonus to the top 15 cricketers. So, their stance came to me as a surprise,” he further said.

Nazmul went on saying, “Instead of sharing the problems with us, they told the media. And as a result, the whole world is thinking that Bangladesh cricket in serious trouble. ACC (Asian Cricket Council), ICC (International Cricket Council) and other member boards are calling me since they called the strike. It’s just ruining our image across the world. They just wanted to send out this message to the world, and I’ve to admit they’re successful in their mission.”

In their 11-point demand, the cricketers asked for salary hike in the First-class cricket and increasing facilities for the First-class cricketers. At the same time, they urged for bringing back the open-transfer system in club cricket so that the cricketers can choose their teams in the domestic circuit.

“I think, most of the cricketers don’t know why they actually called the strike. I just find it as an attempt to destroy the upcoming tour of India. I don’t believe they’ve gone on strike only for money. We’ve hiked their (centrally contracted players’ top grade) salary from Tk one lakh to Tk 4 lakh. If it is required to raise the payment for the First-class cricket, we’ve to talk about this,” Nazmul told reporters.

The BCB president also said the board is trying to contact the players to resolve the issue but the players are not responding to their phone calls and messages.

The BCB, however, opted to continue its cricket calendar of the ongoing National Cricket League (NCL) and the practice camp of the national team ahead of the India tour. Bangladesh are scheduled to play three T20Is and two Tests in India next month.

“We’ll continue arranging matches and national team practice camp. Let’s see who come to join and who deny it. If they deny joining the matches and camp, we’ll take action accordingly. We need to find out who’re trying to destroy Bangladesh cricket. We’ll ask the cricketers to play. If they deny, it’s up to them,” Nazmul added.