Reports: Bangladesh PM directs Mashrafe Mortaza to talk to protesting cricketers

The Statesman

The Statesman

Author 2019-10-23 15:18:00

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Mortaza's appointment is being seen as a positive move towards the resumption of cricketing activities in Bangladesh. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikha Hasina has reportedly appointed the national team’s One Day International (ODI) captain Mashrafe Mortaza to talk to the protesting cricketers and tell them to return to the field. According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, the PM has taken the step in her bid to resolve the impasse.

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) director Mahbubul Anam echoed the same when he said that the PM had queried Mortaza about the crisis. “She wanted to know the latest about cricket’s situation. Then she asked Mashrafe to tell the players to return to the field,” Anam was quoted as saying by Bangladeshi daily Samakal.

However, it is yet to be known if Mortaza has already communicated with the players but his appointment is being seen as a positive move towards the resumption of cricketing activities in Bangladesh.

Reportedly, the striking cricketers are likely to have a meeting on Wednesday to decide their future course of action after the BCB agreed to meet one of their 11-point demand. As asked by the cricketers the board decided to bring back the Dhaka Premier League’s club transfer system.

The players took to the strike after the BCB brought in various new transformations in their domestic structure, including the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). The board’s decision to abandon the BPL’s franchise-based model infuriated the cricketers the most.

The latest step of the board resulted in players’ income going down to an all-time low, especially after the match-fee in first-class competitions was not raised.

The players made 11 demands asking the country’s cricket governing body to transform some of its policies. They also decided to not take part in any cricket activities (domestic and international) until their demands were met, keeping their tour of India in a jeopardy.

However, with the Prime Minister directly involving herself, the matter could be sorted much before anyone had anticipated. Also, the PM’s intervention comes on a day when newly-elected BCCI President Sourav Ganguly informed that she had confirmed her presence at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata for the second Test match between India and Bangladesh.

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