Cape Town - Reports in Bangladesh suggest that the
country's prime minister has approached Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe
Mortaza to help mediate in the ongoing strike by a number of the
nation's leading cricketers.
The strike centers around the players' demands for better pay,
improved facilities and changes to the country's domestic limited overs
The holdout - announced by star national team all-rounder Shakib Al
Hasan - aims to result with a 50 percent pay hike for first-class
players, the expansion of national pay contracts, increased match fees
in domestic four-day and 50-over games, and better benefits for grounds
The initial reaction from the BCB president Nazmul Hassan was predictably, a negative one.
"I don't believe they are doing it for money. There may be some other
reasons, part of a plan, a conspiracy to destabilise cricket," Hassan
"The basic objective of this strike is to spoil the camp and India tour, some outsiders are working on this."
One demand has recently been met, with the BCB agreeing to reinstate
the Dhaka Premier League's club transfer system - a concession that has
lead to renewed hope the strike will be resolved before the tour to
India in November.
The Federation Of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) had
earlier pledged its support to the players, with the organisation's
executive chairperson Tony Irish (via ndtv.com) praising the players "for
taking a stand together in order to secure fair conditions."
BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury revealed that he will attend a meeting
with the players later today with the expressed intention of solving the
crisis before it gets out of hand.
"After the media conference last evening, I spoke to a senior player
who told me that they would get back to us at any time after discussing
among themselves. We expect to sit with them at 5pm today," said
Chowdhury in a press briefing.
The tour to India (should it go ahead) next month will mark the debut
of Bangladesh in the inaugrual World Test Championship with the sides
set to contest a two-game series.
A three-match T20 series will be played prior to the red-ball encounters, with the first clash scheduled for November 3.