Nazmul Hassan, the president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board, spoke to the media for the first time about the ongoing players' issues surrounding Bangladesh cricket. Top Bangladesh cricketers had earlier raised concerns and there has been a growing discontent over how cricket was being run in the country and had, therefore, called for a strike to put forth 11 demands in front of the Board.
The cricketers stated that they wouldn't resume cricketing activities unless all their demands were met. This statement also meant that they wouldn't be taking part in the ongoing National Cricket League season. Players like Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim and Tamim Iqbal were present at the press conference along with domestic players.
A furious Hassan said that most of the aforementioned demands were almost met and the players could have talked directly to the Board instead of informing the media first. He said that the Board was open to talks with the cricketers who had called for a strike.
''I don't know what they are talking about... We are always open to talk with them. But, why didn't they inform us before informing you in the media? There must be a reason behind it.”
On demands of reinstating the traditional system of Players Transfers in the Dhaka Premier League, Nazmul informed that he had already talked with the Chairman of CCDM for reinstating the traditional system next season. According to him, the players were very much aware of this decision. He said,
"Just a month ago, I told the Chairman of CCDM to reinstate the traditional system of Players Transfer in the Dhaka Premier League, and it is due to be implemented next season. The players know it well. The players-by-choice system was adopted to quell discrimination, as, in the traditional players transfer, only some big players gain financially, but most of the players lose out in it. Since the players want the old system, we don't have any objection.”
He also stated that the BCB had taken responsibility for paying salaries of players playing in the Dhaka Premier League if the clubs failed to pay them.
"The BCB (also) has taken the responsibility to pay the salaries of the players (Dhaka Premier League) if the clubs fail to give it. And BCB has already paid. However, the BCB first tries to force the club to pay it on time. If BCB first pays the players, the clubs will get the advantage and won't give them money,''
Nazmul hinted at an alleged conspiracy against the Board by some of its players. He thinks that this wasn’t done for any financial gains but to tarnish the image of Bangladesh cricket.
"I don't believe they are doing it for money. There may be some other reasons; part of a plan, a conspiracy to destabilize cricket but we will find out the conspirators. It's just a matter of time and Bangladesh is a small country and we are aware of who is behind this, and there can be one or two cricketers involved in it. But, they have managed to tarnish the image of the country to some extent.”
Despite the turmoil, Nazmul Hassan sounded hopeful of an India tour as per the schedule and further stated that most of the players still wanted to represent the country and play.
"I am hopeful that there will be a camp and the India series will go on as per schedule. I still believe that most of the players want to play.”
Hassan avoided questions that mentioned other allegations such as conflict of interest points of the CWAB chairman Naimur Rahman, who also serves the role of a BCB director. He further deflected questions about Khaled Mahmud holding eleven roles within the BCB and outside, and home broadcaster Gazi TV having a BCB director as its owner.
One of the most experienced and respected personalities in Bangladesh cricket, Mashrafe Mortaza was appointed by Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina to mediate proceedings. BCB director Mahbubul Anam informed the Local daily Samakal saying:
"She [Sheikh Hasina] wanted to know the latest about cricket's situation...Then she asked Mashrafe to tell the players to return to the field. The prime minister also asked Mashrafe about the crisis."
The preparation camp for the India tour is scheduled for 25th October under a new bowling consultant Daniel Vettori and limited-overs bowling coach Neil McKenzie.
Bangladesh tour of India starts on November 3, 2019. The visiting team is scheduled to play three T20Is first, before two Tests that begin on November 14. The two Test matches will mark the beginning of Bangladesh’s campaign in the ICC Test Championship.