BPL news January 30, 2013

Players could boycott BPL - Tim May

Unpaid fees and broken promises could lead to a players' boycott of the Bangladesh Premier League, Tim May has warned. May, the chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) has revealed that "many" overseas players involved in the BPL remain unpaid and that players' patience with the organisers has worn thin.

"The players are very seriously considering some sort of boycott simply because there is little else they can do," May told ESPNcricinfo. "They were promised 25% of their fees as soon as they arrived in Bangladesh, another 25% before the last game and the final 50% within 150 days of the end of the event.

"In most cases, those first payments have not been made. As for the rest of the fees the players are owed, well, good lucking seeing that."

May admitted to a sense of frustration at the situation. After severe problems securing payments after the first instalment of the BPL, FICA advised players against taking part this time. Many ignored the warnings, however, and are now asking FICA for assistance.

"We didn't say this might happen," May said. "We said it would happen. So yes, there is an element of frustration. We gave the players strong advice and they ignored it. They seem to have thought 'it won't happen to me.'

"So, what do we do? The answer is we look at the bigger picture: we try to help the players in the same way in the way a foreign embassy might try to help people who find themselves in trouble in a foreign country they have been warned against visiting. Our obligation is to protect players' welfare and we will continue to look at way we can do that.

"We believe the new administration behind the Bangladesh Cricket Board should be better than the one that preceded it. We hope that the delays might be because they had little time to prepare ahead of this season of the BPL but, at the moment, we do still have some doubts about the BCB."

May did express the hope that the episode might convince players to take warnings from FICA more seriously in future. In particular, he hoped that players considering taking part in the Pakistan Super League might reflect that.

"There are good reasons why just about every government in the world is advising its citizens against travelling to Pakistan," May said. "There are good reasons why none of the major cricket boards are sending their teams to Pakistan and there are good reasons why most independent security experts say that it is not safe to visit the country.

"We are not making up the security concerns we have with Pakistan. We have an obligation to look after the welfare of players and there is nothing more important than their personal safety. We are strongly advising foreign players not to take part in the Pakistan Super League, but we understand that some are likely to do so anyway."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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