PCA concerns over BPL corruption
The Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA), the English player's body, has significant worries about the organisation of the recently completed Bangladesh Premier League, including anti-corruption measures taken, and is also concerned whether county cricketers who have appeared in the tournament will be fully paid following a competition dogged by controversy.
The final of BPL was played on Tuesday with Dhaka Gladiators crowned champions against Barisal Burners. Phil Mustard, the Durham wicketkeeper, and Hampshire's Kabir Ali were involved for Barisal while other county players, including Gary Keedy, Jason Roy, Niall O'Brien and Darren Stevens, have been involved during the tournament for various franchises. Jos Buttler, the Somerset wicketkeeper-batsman, was due to take part but was selected for England's one-day and T20 squads to face Pakistan.
There is no suggestion that any English players have been caught up in controversy during the event, but Sajid Khan, a Pakistani citizen, was arrested earlier this week following a game between Chittagong Kings and Barisal Burners in Mirpur in relation to match-fixing claims. Before the tournament started Mashrafe Mortaza, the former Bangladesh captain who led Dhaka Gladiators, reported he had been approached over spot-fixing. There was also a huge confusion over which teams had reached the semi-finals.
"We had concerns about the competition from the outset," Angus Porter, the PCA chief executive, told ESPNcricinfo. "We're not comfortable with what has happened from an anti-corruption point of view although we had done as good a job as we could to ensure our players, and other players from FICA [Federation of International Cricketers' Association] countries, had briefings and were aware of lines of communication if they had anything to report."
Now that the BPL has been completed the PCA's main priority will be to ensure the players who took part are fully paid before starting to learn lessons from the tournament. "The major question remaining is whether players will get paid what they're owed," Porter said. "We briefed them very clearly on what the contract was that had been agreed between FICA and the organisers.
"It included a schedule of payments, including money before they went, another chunk during and the final payment afterwards. As I understand some players are still waiting for their mid-tournament payment. It's early to press the panic button but I am concerned whether players will get paid what they are due."
FICA, led by former Australia offspinner Tim May, of which the PCA is part of alongside the player bodies from Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and West Indies, insisted on being involved in the player contracts but it was the only element that the representatives were able to control and Porter said consideration was given to advising players not to join.
"We did think about whether recommending people shouldn't go but in the end thought it should be a matter for individual judgement and we gave people a fairly clear briefing that they needed to go in with their eyes open and a few things to watch out for."
The PCA will undertake extensive debriefs with the county-based players who have been involved and expects the same from FICA before their recommendations are put to the ICC. "It's highly likely that FICA will do some kind of structured feedback from all the players with a particular focus on minimum standards and lessons to be learned," Porter said. "I think we will make a representation to the ICC about the establishment of basic standards for this kind."
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo