Bangladesh’s tour of India is in trouble after Test and T20I captain Shakib Al Hasan, in a press conference on Monday, revealed that the players will not participate in any cricketing activities if their 11-point demand is not met by the country’s board. Bangladesh is set to tour India for a three-match Twenty20 International series and a two-Test series, which starts on November 3.
However, the series in India is now under a cloud following the unprecedented stand taken by the Bangladesh players. The boycott plan was announced by the country’s top players such as Test and T20 captain Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim at a press conference in Dhaka. Nearly 50 players are part of the protest.
A boycott of any cricket activity for the foreseeable future will have an immediate impact on the National Cricket League, currently in progress. The action could also jeopardize the training camp for next month’s tour of India and possibly the tour itself.
During the tour starting November 3, Bangladesh are scheduled to play three T20 Internationals and two Test matches as part of the World Championship.
“We have to respect the local coaches, physios, trainers, and groundsman. They get a little amount of salary at the end of the month,” senior opener Tamim Iqbal said on behalf of the players at the press conference.
The camp was supposed to start this week with the team’s spin consultant Daniel Vettori in attendance.
India responded with a guarded statement, calling Bangladesh’s internal matter.
“The BCCI will wait and watch the developments closely. This is an internal matter of the Bangladesh Cricket Board and until and unless we hear from them, there is no need for us to make any comments,” a senior BCCI functionary told PTI.
However, many in the Indian Cricket Board feel that President-elect Sourav Ganguly’s cordial relations with both players and officials in Bangladesh cricket might help in salvaging the situation.
“There is a Test game in Kolkata which will surely create a lot of attention among the Bangladesh fans keeping the local unite in mind. A lot of fans are required to travel from Dhaka and it’s surrounding cities to watch the match, a first in Kolkata. I think that they will pay heed to our president’s appeal if the circumstance demands,” another BCCI official said.
One of the major points raised by the players was better remuneration for those competing at the first-class level.
“Match fee for the first-class games should be raised to one lakh (Bangladesh Taka), which is now 35 thousand only. At the same time, the pay of first-class cricketers also should be raised by 50 percent,” said Shakib.
“A first-class cricketer gets only 1500 taka as the daily pay. I don’t believe this is sufficient for a cricketer to get a healthy lifestyle. At the same time, we are asking to raise the travel allowance. We will be glad if BCB guarantees the air tickets for traveling for the First-class cricketers throughout the nation.”
Sources in the BCB believe that the tour remains on course as Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is committed to attending the second Test at the Eden Gardens from November 22.
In case Bangladesh forfeits, the ICC will award the Test series to India who will get 120 points.