Dhaka: Bangladesh cricketers, led by star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, have called off their strike over pay and benefits after getting assurance from the country’s board that all their demands will be met, putting their tour of India back on track.
The deadlock between the players and Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) ended after a two-hour long meeting which went on close to midnight, Wednesday.
The truce means that the team’s T20 and Test tour of India, beginning November 3, will go on as per schedule and players will be joining the preparatory camp on Friday.
“As Papon bhai (Bangladesh Cricket Board chief Nazmul Hassan) said, it was a fruitful discussion. He and the rest of the directors assured us that our demands will be met as soon as possible. Based on their assurance, we will start playing the National Cricket League (NCL) and attend the training camp,”” Shakib said.
Shakib Al Hasan attended the meeting alongside other senior players including Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah and Tamim Iqbal.
The players added two more demands to the 11 made, Monday. They asked for a percentage of BCB revenues and equal pay for women cricketers.
“We told them that there should be CWAB elections (players’ body) swiftly. We want a representative from the current players, so that our problems can be discussed with the board regularly. It will be the best for the players. They have agreed, and the elections will be held when we are all available. We can tell you that we are happy when the demands are implemented, but discussions have been satisfying,” Shakib told reporters.
BCB president Hassan did not commit anything on the two latest demands but said the original 11 will be fulfilled. Players had also demanded fresh elections in the players’ body and BCB agreed to that.
Hassan, who had earlier slammed the players for the timing of the strike calling it a conspiracy, said the board agreed to most of the cricketers’ demands.
“Among their 11 demands, the first one (CWAB elections) doesn’t have anything to do with the BCB and the last demand (more than two NOCs per year to play franchise tournaments) will be taken case to case,” said Hassan.
“We have agreed with the rest of the demands, like the DPL transfers and BPL franchise model. We will also significantly improve their allowances in the domestic competitions, and it will be done in the next two or three days. Not in six months or a year,””said the BCB chief.