Duronto Rajshahi v Khulna Royal Bengals, BPL 2012-13 February 8, 2013

Unpaid Rajshahi players threatened boycott


The dispute over the lack of player payments in the BPL has intensified with Chamara Kapugedera confirming that he and other overseas players for Duronto Rajshahi had been set to boycott their match against Khulna Royal Bengals on Friday.

Though a pullout was averted, a source close to the situation told ESPNcricinfo that foreign players from all franchises would stop playing in the BPL if they were not paid by Monday.

Kapugedera and other overseas Rajshahi players were convinced to take the field just before the start of Friday's afternoon game by BCB officials and the match began on time, though the players remain unpaid. The situation was so dire that the Rajshahi management had to request the match referee and the opposition captain to let them field an all-local line-up even after a delayed toss.

"We were going to sit out this game," Kapugedera said in the post-match press conference. "Most of the foreign guys who have been playing these games were doing so without being paid. We played to keep BCB's respect and to give them a chance to pay. We needed to give them a point that we are not going to play without anything.

"The foreign players, seven of us, were waiting for some confirmation from BCB that our first 25% money that they are due to pay us, will go to our accounts, or some certificate that's already going. So we were just waiting for that. We didn't get the money yet but the transaction is being made. Hopefully by Monday we will get the money."

Friday's drama first became visible when Tamim Iqbal walked out for the toss, in place of Kapugedera who has been the captain in recent matches.

ESPNcricinfo understands that although the Rajshahi management had sent out a team list with five overseas players (Charles Coventry, Dilshan Munaweera, Kapugedera, Sean Ervine and Ben Edmondson) in the playing eleven, they had to ask the match referee and the opposing captain Lou Vincent if the line-up could be changed later as there was a clear threat of a pull-out. Vincent agreed and the match referee went along with Tamim for the toss but the BCB managed to avoid a boycott.

"By the time of the toss, we hadn't received the confirmation so we were waiting for it," Kapugedera said. "That's why Tamim went to the toss because we were not sure if we are going to play. But before 20 minutes, we got the confirmation."

This season the BCB have taken up the responsibility to make all payments to players, and had asked the franchises to send them the money in three installments. The Rajshahi overseas players were given assurances by the BCB chairman that the first 25% will be given to them, but according to Kapugedera, time ran out.

"We have held couple of meetings with the [Duronto Rajshahi] owners and chairman of BCB, and told them that we are not going to play if we don't get paid.

"We have played almost all the matches, we haven't been paid anything. That's what we told them, 'What is the guarantee that we will get the money by the end of this tournament?'"

As far as his decision to play this year's BPL was concerned, Kapugedera said that BCB's assurance ahead of the tournament that they would handle all payment convinced him to come to Bangladesh.

"Our agents guaranteed us. The owners were very generous, promised us that we will get money. We didn't have any doubts coming here. When we knew that everything will go through BCB, we have enough foundation to believe that nothing dramatic will be happening.

"You can't blame any one person, end of the day we had discussions. I think the problem is solved," he said.

Despite BCB's promise, Kapugedera warned that if the money doesn't arrive by Monday (February 11), the boycott would be enforced. "We haven't seen anything yet. The players will stand the same position as today, if we don't see anything in the bank accounts. But from what I have seen and heard today, there won't be any issues on Monday."

With additional inputs from Firdose Moonda

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on February 11, 2013, 22:45 GMT

    omg there we go again ! r u kidding me bcb?

  • Smith on February 11, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    I don't blame the players, even I as a Bangladesh fan has found this BPL a bit of a joke. Don't understand why BPL and other leagues dare to bother to try be like IPL when it will never work. Instead should've been more realistic about it and how it can work for you rather than attempting to compete or beat IPL. I personally feel if they cannot pay the players on time and attract crowd, then BPL should discontinue because it has embarrassed us enough and instead have a local T20 league and be satisfied with that less controversy. I haven't watched much of BPL but the ones I have watched, you could tell BPL was trying so hard to be like IPL but failed. Bangladesh should follow Australia or Sri Lanka's lead and see how realistic they are with the number of players they recruit plus payments they set because they hardly got any controversial news.

  • mohammad on February 10, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    Listen every body, it is not TV rating that is responsible for payment issue.Main thing is franchises pay to BCB and BCB pays to players.So, franchises will give a fixed amount of money to BCB but how will they determine it? Players are coming and going.No consistency.Kapugedara came in the mid of BPL and Owais Shah went without notice.Players will receive on the basis of their availability.BPL needed to replace at least 20 players and set new price for them.Also 25% will be determined after they come.So, it took time.

  • Naveed on February 10, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    How on earth they going to pay rest of 75% fee if they are not able to pay 1st instalment of 25% ?? Players shud fly back home as soon as they get 1st 25% fee imstalment cuz rest is not coming. Save urself nd back ur bags as soon as u get 1st instalment nd never look back.

  • Hasib on February 10, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    As a Bangladeshi, I feel that BCB has embarrassed the whole nation. I think the players should boycott and just go home. Do not participate in BPL in the future. This will continue to happen. These promises are not coming from people with credit.

  • Naveed on February 10, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    Well we knew this is coming. Franchises wont pay cuz they are holding bcb responsible for pak players pull out. Now nobody is wqtching bpl outside bangladesh nd tv ratings has hit rock bottom. Pakistan is a country of over 160 million people so imagine tv ratings if pak players were in. Franchises kno that they are going to lose hell lot of money nd this is the main reason. Bcb, s games are back to haunt them. Nobody is going to play next year bpl nd its very bad for bangla cricket.

  • Ahel on February 10, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    I think that the players should be paid.................. The owners are playing with the respect of BCB. Hope that the overseas get the money otherwise BPL is done and dusted........... No player will come to play here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Complete mess.

  • Shoaib on February 9, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    @Legaleagle: Yes you're right BPL probably has no interest apart from Bangladeshi's, same with all other leagues considering Cricket is an unpopular sport and countries like China, USA, Russia etc don't even care about Cricket so its not just BPL but all leagues. Fact is BPL benefits Bangladesh Cricket but some people like you are more interested in the financial aspect of it rather than the Cricket :)

  • Babaji on February 9, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    People who think that stadium-goers contribute to generate revenue for BPL then they are grossly mistaken. A filled stadium for a cricket match is NOT an indicator of excess revenue generation.

    Revenue generation in sports comes from television viewership and syndicate rights. BPL has tiny viewership on television outside of Bangladesh. It has almost negligible presence at world cricket level.

    For these simple reasons, even paltry amount that these franchises paid to get teams are not able to recoup that money because there's no television revenue.

  • Taslim on February 9, 2013, 15:46 GMT

    its really pathetic! BCB shoulnt ruin the image of bangladesh. if they r not capable of holding such tournament,shouldnt go for it.It really sounds very bad.its out of blue for me that players are boycotting game for payment.hoping next time bcb will make all arrangements and there would nt be any sound like this. i am a cricket lover and want the betterment of cricket everywhere.

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