Bangladesh cricket in turmoil as top players go on strike, make 11 demands

Tour of India next month in danger as cricketers seek financial stability for players, coaches and groundsmen

Bangladesh national cricket team captain Shakib Al Hasan (C) speaks with journalist next to teammate Mushfiqur Rahim (R) at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, in Dhaka on October 21, 2019.  Bangladesh cricketers including the members of the Bangladesh national squad called an unprecedented strike on October 21 demanding sweeping pay hike, effectively putting the team's next month's tour of India in jeopardy. / AFP / STR
Powered by automated translation

Bangladesh cricketers took the unprecedented step of going on strike on Monday, demanding better pay.

Star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan led the strike, asking for higher salaries for players, groundsmen, and local coaches. In all, the protesting cricketers made 11 demands, However, no age-level cricketers were part of the move.

Discontent had been simmering in Bangladesh cricket for some time. Recently, the Tigers' board discontinued the franchise model of the lucrative Bangladesh Premier League following disagreement with franchise owners.

That meant BPL player salaries hit an all-time low. Also, the Bangladesh board did not raise salary for first-class matches, which means players would be worse off this year.

Shakib said players will not compete until their demands are met, putting next month's tour of India in doubt.

“We are not going to be involved in cricket unless our demand is fulfilled,” Shakib was quoted as saying by Associated Press.

The all-rounder said the strike is for domestic and international matches.

“We could not include our women’s cricketers because this decision was taken suddenly and if they have any demands they can include it with us,” Hasan said. “I am sure they must have some demands and if they join us we can put it forward.”

Bangladesh Cricket Board CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury said the board will discuss the issue.

“We have just been informed about the development through media. They [players] are yet to talk on this matter with us directly,” Chowdhury said. “We surely will take a decision on this matter. At this point, I can’t say anything on this.”

Bangladesh are scheduled to play three T20s and two Tests in India in November.