Indian Cricket League September 14, 2008

BCB receives retirement letters from six players

Cricinfo staff

Cash bash: Players like Habibul Bashar, the former Bangladesh captain, are likely to receive $200,000 each on signing the three-year ICL contracts © AFP

Six Bangladesh players - Habibul Bashar, Aftab Ahmed, Shahriar Nafees, Farhad Reza, Dhiman Ghosh and Mosharraf Hossain - have informed the Bangladesh Cricket Board they intend to retire from international and domestic cricket. The news, announced by the BCB, follows a report in the Bangladesh daily Prothom Alo which said 14 players, including the six mentioned above, were set to join the Indian Cricket League. ICL officials contacted by Cricinfo said nothing had been finalised as yet.

The report said the players will represent the Dhaka Warriors in the ICL. Besides the six, those named include current internationals Alok Kapali and Nazimuddin, four players who represented Bangladesh previously - Mohammad Rafique (now retired), Tapash Baisya, Manjarul Islam and Mohammad Sharif, and Golam Mabud and Mahbubul Karim, currently touring Sri Lanka with the Bangladesh Academy team.

If such an exodus does take place the effect on Bangladesh's cricket could be disastrous; the ICL is not recognised by the ICC and players appearing in its tournaments are liable to be banned from all top-class cricket. In effect, Bangladesh would have to create a national side almost from scratch. The report quotes some of the cricketers as claiming their contracts would have a clause releasing them for national duty.

The BCB said the players hadn't stated a reason for their retirement announcement and expressed "concern at the abrupt decision by so many players to retire from the game". Aftab, Nafees, Reza, Ghosh and Mosharraf have been part of Bangladesh's recent teams while Bashar, Bangladesh's most successful captain, last played in February. The six have been summoned by the board on Tuesday to explain their decision.

The report suggests the main reason for the players risking their international careers is money. Those playing for the national team are expected to pocket around $200,000 each after signing the three-year contracts, several times what they can ever expect to earn while playing for Bangladesh; the academy players will receive $30,000 each.

That kind of money is a rarity in Bangladeshi cricket but is more common in the IPL; however, only one Bangladesh player is currently in the IPL - Abdur Razzak, who signed up with the Bangalore Royal Challengers.

The plan for a Bangladesh team in the ICL had first been floated last year, soon after formation of a similar team in Pakistan called Lahore Badshahs, captained by Inzamam ul-Haq. The Bangladesh captain, Mohammad Ashraful, told Prothom Alo he had been approached by the ICL to form a team but had turned down the offer.

When contacted by Cricinfo, Kiran More, a member of the ICL's executive board, said no formal agreement had been reached. "We are currently in the state of discussion with a few Bangladeshi players but nothing has been finalised yet." He, however, declined to reveal the names of the players with whom the ICL was in touch.

The new ICL season will begin on October 10, featuring 34 matches across four venues in India.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Swarup on September 16, 2008, 12:26 GMT

    Being a cricket lover I have been dismayed at the IPL/ICL struggle. But these Bangladesh players, along with the 'Columbo Comets' may have just resolved the problems. If they target different niches then and they can be run at different times in the year, then there is no problem. For Bangladesh to lose so much talent is distressing but at the same time you still have to worry about their position in the member countries. On the balance of things this cannot be a good thing, but it still has a chance of not being a bad thing. Jamie Siddons is a strong fighter and if he can instill that into the players who replace the leavers, then nothing is lost...

  • Davesh on September 16, 2008, 9:53 GMT

    What next ? Players from UAE & Canada ? Any tournament or league, which has even a minor consideration for standard of cricket, will never invite Bangladeshi cricketers. If there are any international standard cricketers in Bangladesh then they are Tamim Iqbal & Shahriar Nafees. Rest all including Bashars & Ashrafuls are such poor cricketers that it makes you wonder how lucky Bdesh cricketers are to play international cricketers. If Bdesh really wants to uplift their cricket then they should send their national teams to play in Ranji Trophy or similar tournaments. Although i have no doubt that in no time they will be relegated to plate division in Ranji.

  • sachit on September 15, 2008, 14:21 GMT

    If the ICL starts creating ''national'' sides, the ICC is in for a shock:Lahore Badshahs,Dhaka Warriors,add 'Colombo Comets' and teams representing the other test nations,the ICL would become a rebel World League.See the impact the Lahore Badshahs had on the ICL,a massive Pakisani audience supported it. The Dhaka Warriors would be backed by a horde of Bangladeshi fans.The ICL would be well on their way.

  • David on September 15, 2008, 12:50 GMT

    I was fascinated to read this article after having read Ian Chappell's article just the other day ("Less glamour, more competition"). Chappell showed amazing foresight when he said this:

    "Despite Bangladesh's current lowly playing status, ironically they have a huge asset. Their vote at the ICC is coveted. If the ICL were to sign a Bangladesh team for their competition it would create an enormous dilemma for traditional administrators. Would they be prepared to let a Bangladesh third-string side flounder for the sake of the precious vote or would they see sense and come to the negotiating table with the ICL? Any show of common sense would only be beneficial to the game. It could serve as the conduit to bring the ICL into the official fold so that the player pool is boosted and the overall international standard improved. Such an outcome would be worth suffering a bit of short-term pain."

    Let's hope he's right and the stupid and counterproductive ICL/IPL war is stopped.

  • Md.Sohel on September 15, 2008, 12:39 GMT

    this is all about the future of the cricket of the most popular game in bangladesh is in great danger for last couple of years.icc should think about this sort of icl is a burning question for the icc cricket.i think not only BCB but also ICC should take some steps to motivate and contract player so that the should not play for ICL.

    so please help bangladesh cricket...

  • kazi on September 15, 2008, 12:32 GMT

    Being a Bangladeshi i am happy that this 14 players decided not to play for Bangladesh anymore. These players play for money and have no passion for the game or pride for their country. Now at least some person who is a cricket by heart will get the chance to represent their country and fight for their pride. Dhiman Ghosh whose international career is only 6 months, how can he say he joined ICL because he career was uncertain? this shows his commitment level. Shame on the 14 players. this shame is 100 times more than the losing streak of Bangladesh.

  • Saibaskar on September 15, 2008, 11:35 GMT

    Lionel Messi almost missed playing for Argentina in this year's olympics because his club felt if he incurs any injury then their 'investment' is in trouble. There is a serious lesson for cricket in this. While club cricket is good for players yet if it is bound to any national or internatiional cricket body then it is better. ICL was started by a businessman whose ego was bruised by BCCI. Already ICL has conducted an international tournament therby challanging the authority of ICC. I dont mind competition for BCCI or ICC but it has to come from a quarter which is broader than one single businessman. But, the ultimate bottomline is quality and currently ICL lacks the quality that IPL has and the crucial point is ICL definitely lacks quality Indian players. This fact will always peg them back.

  • Prince on September 15, 2008, 11:33 GMT

    It's so difficult to comment on this article.....You can criticize them saying that these players are not loyal to their country....& at the same time,you feel for them,because it's not every time that these low profile players get a chance like this to earn millions.....all in all,I am not sure how much difference this would make to the Bangladesh team because even when they were in the side,that did not make much difference to the results of Bangladesh cricket.The problem is,once again,as it had happened in 2001-02,Bangladesh would be forced to change the whole structure of their national team.Let's see whether it's for good....Wishing the Bangladesh cricket team best of luck...

  • ahmed on September 15, 2008, 9:54 GMT

    Bangladeshi players r not losers and they r gonna prove it if they get a chance to play in ICL. they have already proved it in 2007 world cup where they beat countries like india and south africa.

  • Riaz on September 15, 2008, 8:59 GMT

    Its high time for ICC to think a bit. If ICL successful with Dhaka Warriors then they will go to some other teams to give them Break! Since money is matter for players then it will not be hard work for ICL to manage teams from each world team. So, I have a suggestion for ICC to recognise ICL & help cricket not to separated.

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