Bangladesh Players Call off Strike, to Return to Action on October 25
Bangladesh's cricketers have called off their strike, which they had announced on Monday (October 21), after being guaranteed by the BCB that almost all of their demands would be addressed.
The players will be back to action in the National Cricket League from Friday.
The players, including seniors like Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Tamim Iqbal, had announced a boycott of all cricketing activity calling for better pay and benefits among other demands. The players' decision had put in doubt their tour of India due to start in early November.
The BCB is reported to have retracted their hard-line stance of not coming on board with the players' demands after Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina intervened in the matter, who summoned Mashrafe Mortaza to act as mediator in the matter.
Their demands include 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 staff.
The BCB agreed to fulfill all of the 11 original demands made by the cricketers, but remained non-committal on the two that were added when the players addressed a press conference on Wednesday (the BCB sharing a percentage of their revenue with them and ensuring equal pay for women cricketers.)
"As Papon bhai (BCB chief Hassan) said, it was a fruitful discussion," all-rounder Shakib-al-Hasan said. "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 NCL and attend the training camp.
"We told them that there should be [CWAB] elections 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."
Speaking to the media, BCB chief Nazmul Hassan Papon said, "We thank the players for coming today. They had a number of demands which I told you yesterday were mostly agreeable. 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.
"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.
"We will also improve infrastructural facilities everywhere, and no longer take it phase by phase. I also heard from many players, and I have asked them to send them their issues in writing in the future.
"I felt that it was a good discussion but I don't think the players liked it, as I was angry at the start, but later it (the anger) went away."