Duronto Rajshahi v Khulna Royal Bengals, BPL 2012-13

Unpaid Rajshahi players threatened boycott

Mohammad Isam

February 8, 2013

Comments: 39 | Text size: A | A

Chamara Kapugedera drives through the off-side, Uthura v Nagenahira, SLPL, Colombo, August 26, 2012
Chamara Kapugedera: "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" © Shaun Roy/SPORTZPICS/SLPL
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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

RSS Feeds: Mohammad Isam

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (February 11, 2013, 22:45 GMT)

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

Posted by AzAb12754 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.

Posted by British_North_America 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.

Posted by AK47_pk 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.

Posted by hasib9 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.

Posted by AK47_pk 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.

Posted by ahelshahriar 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.

Posted by Warm_Coffee 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 :)

Posted by Legaleagle 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.

Posted by taslu613 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.

Posted by   on (February 9, 2013, 15:13 GMT)

Whatever the problem is,it will be sorted out amicably and with everyone's full satisfaction.These things do happen to the best of us so no need to worry.

BPL is a proven success and will remain so.

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (February 9, 2013, 9:55 GMT)

I don't know what's the truth if what these players say is true then there honestly shouldn't be a BPL until they can get their act together and I'm a Bangladesh fan saying that. Bangladesh will be hosting the World T20 where 16 teams will play but during this BPL, I heard that in Khulna, facilities were terrible and the hotel service was bad where some franchises were left hungry so that clearly shows how disorganise Bangladesh Cricket board is and how often they leave things to the last minute. Places like Syhlet growing city economically for some sad reason cannot host Cricket matches probably political and most of the Cricket matches are held at Dhaka where hardly much crowd turns up which was a big contrast to the one in Chittagong.

Posted by liaqathussain on (February 9, 2013, 9:31 GMT)

what will happen monday morning, i will watch and wait

Posted by getsetgopk on (February 9, 2013, 9:31 GMT)

abcdef_12345: Lets talk like grown ups and base our opinions on facts. The writing was always on the wall that PCB may not let its players in BPL when BCB twice committed and then pulled out. Do we agree on this much? I actually read in an article on this very site in which a PCB official said its up to BCB, if they come to Pak we will let our players if they dont then every man for himself and BPL is not Pakistan's headache. The PCB chief Zaka Ashraf said it himself in a stern and crystal clear manner that in the longer term its a loss for BD. Now, if BCB still thought that everything will be ok and PCB will let its players in BPL, then there is no bigger fool than BCB. So, its wrong when you say PCB pulled out at the last minute but its more like BCB was hoping for a last minute miracle that the Pak players will be allowed in BPL. Miracles dont happen that often, you stand up to your deeds and people will hold you responsible when you can't keep your words.

Posted by   on (February 9, 2013, 8:51 GMT)

I think, the problem lies inside BPL governing council. Why the same problem is happening again and again? why need to organize such tournament if it brings so much negative controversy about BD cricket. It looks some of the franchise are more powerful than BPL organizer. One day hearing everyone is paid than another day hearing another stories. Feeling tired with his burst up.

Posted by   on (February 9, 2013, 8:49 GMT)

How organizers do get scope to play with the image of a country while all the regulatory instruments are in place - Government, concerned Ministry and BCB?? !! ??

In each and every match all the overseas and local players are trying to give their very best on the field. But what are we doing with them! Being a Bangladeshi I feel very much insulted in front of the cricket world!

Posted by   on (February 9, 2013, 8:39 GMT)

I don't where you are talking from dwblurb, but last I knew, BD team played very well after 1st BPL and it was no fluke. So yes, we CAN actually claim that it is to improve our cricket. As for the foreign players, of course they do it for money. Not like they get much cricket to improve on anyway.

This situation is embarrassing though, BCB should learn a bit from PCB(smart enough to postpone their PSL for investors) or be more tough on the franchises.

Posted by British_North_America on (February 9, 2013, 8:23 GMT)

Those who criticized me for the grammatical mistake, I write here that I meant in my first comment Legaleagle This mess has been created by your PCB's last moment pull out.For instead of but was a typing mistake.

Posted by dwblurb on (February 9, 2013, 7:12 GMT)

This is really pretty disgraceful by the Bangladesh board. Last years some players weren't paid for months, and now this. The only reason overseas players would play in a tournament such as this is for the money. Nobody could possibly claim that it was to improve their cricket. The Bangladesh board should spend whatever money it has on improving domestric cricket so the Bangladesh team, 14 years on, might finally move beyond the level of an international joke. To be spending money (and money that it appears it doesn't really have) and a hit-and-giggle T20 competition is grossly irresponsible.

Posted by British_North_America on (February 9, 2013, 7:06 GMT)

Legaleagle BPL has no viewership?I myself went to stadium yesterday and we 160 million people are enough to generate revenue.If Pakistani like you do not watch it, it will not hurt BPL as Bangladesh does not have any market in Pakistan rather Pakistan has market in Bangladesh.Yes, IPL pay million dollars but BPL spend US 365000 and 210000 for Shakib and Hodge respectively.Also Azhar Mahmood get 150000.Cricinfo please publish.

Posted by British_North_America on (February 9, 2013, 7:02 GMT)

Legaleagle This mess has been created for your PCB's last moment pull out. All of Rajshahi overseas players are new and they were available for different periods.So, many calculations have been done and it took time.

Posted by   on (February 9, 2013, 6:37 GMT)

@legaleague, you seem to have no idea about the banking system, especially when there is such a high transfer of money. A lot of paperwork goes on, it is not that easy. Yes there were blunders the last time, but this time the case is different.

Posted by ashqarmahi on (February 9, 2013, 4:56 GMT)

Where is Mr. Shah from England.....he should say something now....come on guys...it not about 2/3 thousands doller issue....the amount is big and u just can not paid hand to hand....there is process to be made...it takes time.....!!

Posted by TheBlackMonk on (February 9, 2013, 4:14 GMT)

I suspect this is another immature comment/action as Shah did before. As far I know, all franchises but Chittagong & Sylhet (as they paid themselves to the players instead through BCB as agreed and been show-caused for this) paid to BCB to channel the players payment. This whole procedure obviously needs some time with proper paper work as payment will only be confirmed by Bangladesh Bank only when they are satisfied with the account. Plenty of players joined late with their documents to verify. I know there's been some issues earlier and even now, but this thing must be kept within and resolve internally. Foreign players are also part of the whole tournament and it's now their responsibility too to make it successful, such comment or action can only do worse. Nonetheless, BCB must take this payment issue seriously and appoint a dedicated communication officer so players can initially plea their demand through proper channel. This is not wise throwing ball in FICA's court.

Posted by   on (February 9, 2013, 2:44 GMT)

Its important to make payments as promised. Last year too many were not paid on time. The country's honour is at stake here. The owners should not disgrace us all, by being so petty and selfish.

Posted by Legaleagle on (February 9, 2013, 2:17 GMT)

This has been commented time and again that BPL is a hastily un-organized tournament. BCB should understand that there is absolutely no money in their tournament for the franchises because there is no viewership for this tiny tournament to generate revenue.

It is highly unprofessional for a cricket board to keep international star players high and dry for payments. It looks worst in comparison to IPL where players are getting paid more than a million dollars for their participation. On the contrary, BPL can't even pay their players few thousand dollars.

BPL should be scrapped or it should be reduced to a domestic players tournament. International players should not be involved if you can't pay them.

Posted by SapnerJadukar on (February 8, 2013, 23:15 GMT)

I am utterly disgusted about this payment fiasco. These franchises are rich enough to pay in time but still not doing so hurting players, fans, image of the country etc. BCB should be more careful when they select franchise, put more conditions on them before starting the tournament. Infact BCB should ask franchises to deposit full amount of the players money before the tournament starts.

Posted by Dhanno on (February 8, 2013, 22:03 GMT)

another league..another story.. BCB fills coffers, some unscrupulous elements get to be owners of these league teams, still fans defend the national board as all the principles of the issue are dead to them and players stay unpaid.

May we have this tourny again next year.!

Posted by ZsZs on (February 8, 2013, 20:30 GMT)

Good stand - needed to be firm. Go for it - and I am a Bangladeshi. This is ridiculous and an insult to professionalism all over the world.

Posted by cyborg909 on (February 8, 2013, 20:26 GMT)

The agreement calls for 25% money to be paid upfront. Having a slip is not same as having money in bank account. Seriously BD fans should stop defending their board and start pushing board to pay up. You guys don't look good defending indefensible.

Posted by JACK.SPARROW on (February 8, 2013, 19:43 GMT)

i don't know why overseas players are impatient. it's not that BCB or franchises delaying players payment willingly. payment issue has to go through processes and phases in Bangladesh.however BCB is responsible for all this as they haven't been strict to franchises.

Posted by M_Rakibul_Islam on (February 8, 2013, 18:10 GMT)

Why r BCB officials playing hide&seek? They shud reveal thr problms in front of players. They must pressurize franchise owners to pay money & im4m the foreign Cricketers about complex Transaction rules of BD's Central bank.

Posted by British_North_America on (February 8, 2013, 17:50 GMT)

Did these players come to play or to damage BPL for future editions.What do they think?????????BCB gave them false remittance slip????I just see Kapugedara is leading the charge here.Not a good sign.BCB should avoid him for future editions.

Posted by Warm_Coffee on (February 8, 2013, 17:50 GMT)

I thought 5 of the 7 franchises paid up? if this article is true then BCB should just terminate those franchises that haven't paid on time their loss otherwise this will just continue all the time.

Posted by   on (February 8, 2013, 17:42 GMT)

What does it mean that "BCB will handle all payments"? Does it mean that BCB is the guarantor of the payments? In that case BCB should pay it from their own coffers and then deal with the franchise owners separately. In hindsight it would have been smarter for BCB it have established an escrow account with the promised payments form the owners.

Posted by Edansad on (February 8, 2013, 17:40 GMT)

Bcb should take proper steps in order 2 settle these kinds of dispute

Posted by British_North_America on (February 8, 2013, 17:34 GMT)

I watched the match today from stadium.I do not know why foreign players cannot wait for the transaction when they got the slip?????????

Posted by Shajadul on (February 8, 2013, 17:18 GMT)

It's unfortunate....missing deadline is not a good sign. As the players needs to be paid, why the owners missing deadline and making the tournament less attractive for foreign players? BCB needs to be very serious about the deadlines.

Posted by Solace1 on (February 8, 2013, 17:06 GMT)

Chamara one of our best players, hope all things are sorted out and he plays and makes runs, lankan cricket badly needs him

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