After causing the Bangladesh Cricket Board a lot of embarrassment in the inaugural edition of the Bangladesh Premier League, payment issues have returned to haunt the country’s cricket once again. Most local players who participated in the recently concluded Dhaka Premier League have reportedly received just the initial 30 percent of their total payment prior to the start of the tournament and are presently in the dark about the rest.
A week back, the president of the BCB, Nazmul Hasan Papon had instructed the clubs which were part of the tournament to clear all pending payments within a 72-hour deadline. However, the clubs have not paid heed to the warning and the board is now faced with a situation where it might have to pay the players from its own funds.
Cricketers who represented the Cricket Coaching School club seem to be the most badly affected ones as they received a meagre 8 percent of their payment. Speaking on the issue, their skipper Rajin Saleh said, “Each of our players got a lakh each and that's all. We don't know what's going to happen to the rest of the money. BCB officials did call me to ask about the situation, but we haven't seen any change after that.”
“I have been playing in the DPL for 21 years and I haven't seen a dirtier season than this year. I don't get to play often in any of the other national leagues and I look forward to this one throughout the year. The players in my team are all very young. They are 18 or 19 and they keep calling me every day to know whether we will get paid. I am so frustrated that I actually blocked my phone. What will I tell them? I myself don't know when I will get paid,” Saleh added about their predicament.
Mahmudul Hasan Limon, the captain of the Kalabagan Cricket Academy, also opened up on the issue and voiced his opinion on why the situation has arisen. He was quoted saying, “We just got 30 per cent of the payment and we don't know what's going to happen to the remaining 70. The first instalment was paid to us only after the seventh game as opposed to before the start of the league.”
“I think the player-by-choice system has a lot to do with this. Before we used to get 70 to 80 percent of our payment at the start of the league, but now it has been divided to 30, 30 and 40 and that has created problems,” explained Mahmudul.
Former Bangladeshi cricket Shahriar Nafees, who plays for the Brothers Union, expressed his nervousness about the payments considering the upcoming festive season. He said, “Our club has said that it is trying to gather funds and that the dues will be cleared soon. As players, we do feel insecure about the situation because Eid is coming up and it will become difficult for many. We hope the payments are cleared as soon as possible.”
One of the clubs, Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club, though, has cleared 60 percent of the payment but players still have doubts over the remaining 40 percent. Sohag Gazi, who is among the club’s top players, said, “Yes, we received the 30 percent yesterday. But who knows when we will get the remaining money. It feels bad that we have to fight and cry just to get our basic salary. We have played under hot conditions this time and this is actually very painful.”
Such a situation is quite a downer for a country which is looking to become a cricketing powerhouse in the near future. It remains to be seen how the BCB acts in terms of doing justice to the players.Published 26 Jun 2016, 10:04 IST