Cricket: Bangladesh Cricketers Not The First Ones To Go On Strike
In a major development ahead of the upcoming India vs Bangladesh T20I series, Bangladesh's cricketers announced on Monday that they will not be taking part in any cricketing activity for the foreseeable future until their demands regarding the development of the sport are met.
According to a report, the demands were read by Naeem Islam, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, with 50-plus cricketers behind them as the tour to India next month has come under serious question.
The players who have gone on a boycott released a list of 11 demands on Monday, including a reversal of the Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB) decision last month to abandon the Bangladesh Premier League's (BPL) franchise-based model. Shakib added that once all the demands are fulfilled, players will be back on duty at all levels of the game in the country.
Let us look at teams that went on strike in the past:
West Indies 2009:
In 2009, the original 13-man squad picked by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for the Bangladesh Tests had boycotted the series due to a disagreement over contractual issues. The strike forced the selectors to pick a second-string side which lost both Tests, handing Bangladesh their first overseas series victory. The WICB and the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA), resolved the impasse by mediation. Both sides agreed to the appointment of former Commonwealth secretary-general Shridath Ramphal as an arbitrator.
An agreement was made and it had come hours after a weakened squad was announced by the board for the first two one-dayers against Bangladesh. West Indies' leading players ended their strike and made themselves available for international duty following the appointment of an arbitrator to settle their dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). Chris Gayle and other star players then took part in the one-dayers against Bangladesh.
In 2013, another dispute engulfed Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC). Players threatened to strike during Zimbabwe's ODI series against Pakistan. Negotiations made sure that players went out to play against Pakistan. Surprisingly, the unpaid Zimbabwe players defeated Pakistan in one of the three ODIs. The first match of the Test series was also under threat of a player strike but ZC made sure a team was fielded for the Test. Brendan Taylor decided not to believe ZC and sat out of the first test. Zimbabwe went on to beat a lacklustre Pakistan side in the second Test match, sparking hopes of recovery for Zimbabwean cricket.
These hopes were short-lived as the pay dispute got intense in December 2013, when Zimbabwean players went on strike which led to a suspension of the four- and one-day tournaments that were underway. The disconnect between players and their boards at the lower end of Test cricket had come to the fore once again, with Zimbabwe's franchise cricketers refusing to take the field for the start of the first-class season. It was the second time in a year that Zimbabwe's players had gone on strike over wages and contractual issues.