Threat to Bangladesh tour of India; BCB chief alleges sabotage attempt

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Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan ‘Papon’ has alleged that there has been constant attempts to sabotage Bangladesh’s upcoming tour of India and the strike by country’s top cricketers with 11-point demand was an extension of that.

Bangladesh players called off the strike after BCB agreed to their demands of better pay package at the international and first-class level days before their four-week long tour of India where they are supposed to play three T20 Internationals and two Tests.

“You people (media) haven’t yet seen anything about the India tour. Just wait and watch. If I am saying that I had specific information that this was a conspiracy to sabotage India tour, then you should believe me,” Hasan told country’s premier Bengali daily ‘Prothom Aalo’ in an interview.

Asked to explain in detail why he thought so, Hasan has expressed his suspicion in the manner senior opener Tamim Iqbal has pulled out of the tour citing his wife’s delivery as a reason after initially agreeing to only skip the final Test.

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“Tamim had initially told me that he will only skip the second Test (in Kolkata from November 22-26) for the birth of his second child. However after the meeting with players, Tamim comes to my room and said, he wants to opt out of whole tour. I asked him ‘why so?’ but he simply said he won’t go,” Hasan revealed to the Bengali daily.

Bangladesh are due to arrive in New Delhi on Wednesday, October 30 but BCB president is sceptical that there could be a few more pull-outs.

“Now after this, I won’t be surprised if I find that someone else pulls out at the eleventh hour when we would be left with no other options. I have called Shakib to have a chat. Now if he also pulls out, where do I even find a captain? I might have to change whole combination. What do I even do with these players,” he said.

The top boss is still livid with the arm-twisting tactic employed by senior cricketers and feels he made a mistake by agreeing to their demands.

“I still can’t believe it. I speak to them every day. They didn’t even intimate me before calling a strike. I feel that it was a mistake on my part to have agreed to their demands. I should have never done that,” he said.

“I should have told the players, ‘Unless you call off strike, we will not sit with you guys across the negotiation table. Speaking to various member boards, I felt that this should have been our approach but the media also created pressure on us,” Hasan also added.

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Meanwhile, Shakib al Hasan is unlikely to face any legal action from the cricket board but Bangladesh’s Test and T20 captain will still have to reply to the show cause notice for violation of central contract clause, BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury said.

Shakib had signed as the brand ambassador of country’s telecom major ‘Grameenphone’, which is a direct competitor of team’s sponsor ‘Robi’.

According to the central contract clause, this is a violation and an angry BCB president Nazmul Hasan Papon had threatened legal action against country’s best player.

However Chowdhury has said that no legal action will be taken against Shakib. “It’s an internal matter of the board and that’s why there is no need to take any legal action against Shakib. However he certainly has to explain why he signed an endorsement deal which is in violation of central contract,” BCB CEO has been quoted by country’s leading Bengali daily ‘Prothom Aalo’.

Earlier BCB president had lashed out the senior cricketer accusing him of causing financial loss to the cricket board by breaching the central contract clause.

“We are going into legal action. We cannot spare anyone in this regard. We will ask for compensation. We will seek compensation from the company as well as from the player,” Hasan had said after Grameenphone issued a press release naming the player as their “Brand Ambassador”.

“Robi (Telecom) was our title sponsor and Grameenphone did not bid and instead they grabbed few cricketers by paying them TK One or Two Crores. What happened in the end? The board lost TK 90 Crores in three years,” he had also said.

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