Indian Cricket League September 17, 2008

Bangladesh bans ICL recruits for 10 years


Habibul Bashar, who was named captain of the ICL's Dhaka Warriors, has been banned for ten years by the Bangladesh board © AFP

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has announced a ten-year ban for 13 of its top cricketers for joining the unauthorised ICL, and is now hoping that the IPL and the Champions Twenty20 League will help it revive and boost the game in the country.

An emergency meeting of the board on Wednesday afternoon decided to ban "players, officials and technical staff of the BCB who participate in events not authorised by the ICC and BCB". A press release said the board was examining legal technicalities "for taking appropriate proceedings" against the ICL players and has also decided to "review the existing format of the contracts with players to discourage such abrupt action by cricketers in the future".

Ahmed Sajjadul Alam, a BCB executive board member who was part of the meeting, told Cricinfo that the ICL ban would act as a "deterrent" and set an example "in the interests of Bangladesh cricket". He also termed suggestions that the country's Test status would be affected by the exodus as "terribly unfair", and claimed it had adequate replacements to ensure that New Zealand, who are visiting this month, is "in for a surprise".

Admitting that Bangladesh will have to "accept the reality and move on", Alam said: "We now hope that one of our teams will be able to participate in the Champions League in another year or so, and that will be a huge boost for the country and its players. In fact we have received some kind of an assurance from IPL officials that they would look at recruiting more of our players so that they don't feel left out financially. We are also in touch with other cricketing boards on how they can help us."

Abdur Razzak, the left-arm spinner, is the only Bangladesh player currently in the IPL and was signed up by Bangalore Royal Challengers for US$50,000. Although national boards don't get a share of IPL revenues, they will receive a significant sum for participating in the Champions Twenty20 along with a separate participation fee for their domestic Twenty20 champion teams that are invited. The Champions League is hoping to expand from eight teams this year to 12 in 2009.

Alam, who also heads the BCB's media committee, said an example had been set in the interests of Bangladesh cricket. "We want this ban, which is in line with the ICC's policy on unauthorised cricket, to act as a firm deterrent for others."

Alam said that allegations from some of the ICL recruits that they were mistreated by the BCB were "ridiculous" and added, "These players should be honest and admit openly they did this just for the money. That's the main reason. Why can't they be forthright about it? These players have let down their country and its people and opted to join a commercial venture which will benefit a group of individuals and nobody else.

"There have been demonstrations and meetings here by fans who feel cheated by these players," Alam said. "We have received so many phone calls from fans expressing disgust at what these players have done. These are cricket lovers who have sacrificed a lot for the game; people who have thronged the stadiums to watch these players play; who have paid money to do that - money that has gone into the development and upbringing of these players."

The 13 Bangladesh players who signed up for the ICL will be part of the Dhaka Warriors team that was unveiled in New Delhi on Tuesday. The team, which will compete in the second season from October 10, will be led by Habibul Bashar, the former national captain, and included recent internationals Aftab Ahmed, Alok Kapali, Shahriar Nafees, Farhad Reza, Dhiman Ghosh and Mosharraf Hossain.

Ajay Shankar is deputy editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shakil on September 18, 2008, 20:09 GMT

    First of all, we have to understand the reality of Bangladesh cricket. Being a poorest(in both sense - quality of cricket & money) full member of ICC, Bangladesh Cricket Board(BCB) is in a very shaky situation to support ICL. It is very important for them to develop the quality of their cricket. That's why BCB can't stand against anything, which is not supported by ICC(or BCCI). Dhaka Warriors player should have understood that at first place. Leaving BCB in an awkward situation without any kind of discussion prior to deciding to join ICL is a tricky & foolish act. No problem of those players like Tapash, Sharif, Manjurul, Rafique, Bashar joining ICL as they have very blink future in Bangladesh national team because of their performance. Those young & potential Bangladesh national team player should have been honest & loyal to BCB before signing contract with ICL. It is the BCB, not ICL who has been grooming them a lot to become an international player with the money received from ICC.

  • Wessels on September 18, 2008, 18:46 GMT

    Another Board with integrity. Players who sign up for ICL are the same as players who throw matches for money. If you can sell your international career, you can't expect to keep it. It's sad for Bangladesh, but surely they're better off without them. Rules are rules...Sure play wherever you want to, but not everywhere...You can't work for Coca-Cola and promote Pepsi.

  • Nish on September 18, 2008, 17:25 GMT

    As an Indian supporter, the biggest bully in this whole problem is Mr Lalit Modi & the BCCI. What is the difference between these Bangladeshi cricketers playing in the ICL or IPL? None whatsoever, apart from the fact that Mr Modi is abusing his clout & monopolistic powers to the detriment of players of all nationalities, including young Indian talent, who don't stand much chance of enjoying the riches of the IPL & so understandably join the ICL instead. Cricketers too have a limited career span, so they have to maximize their earnings whilst playing. Shame to the BCB & any other national cricketing boards who side with the bullyboys of the BCCI. Rather than berate & accuse their own players of greed for joining the ICL, it is these very Boards who for the sake of monies are blindly supporting Mr Modi & Co as they hope some of the huge wealth of the BCCI will start filtering down to them. I for one, will NOT be following any forthcoming BCCI run tournaments in contempt of them!

  • vic tor on September 18, 2008, 14:58 GMT

    What a lot of us forget, is that most of these players are trying to earn their livelihood. If their country conveniently forgets them for one reason or another, what are they to do? Also joining a team like ICL is not a sin. They have been ostracized by BCCI, who are ruling the roost, and even controlling ICC!! In fact lest we forget, it was the ICL who started this sort of cricket, and they wanted to employ some gifted youngsters alongwith professional cricketers from India and abroad, so that these youngster would be groomed for the Test team. But, BCCI objected to this, and lo and behold came up with IPL to counter ICL. And not just that, they started to tell the world that ICL should be banned, and managed to do so!! How outrageous, and sad, but these are the tactics of a Big Bully. I am glad that ICL have taken the matter up with ICC, and if a solution is not forthcoming, legal remedies will be sort.

  • Gautam on September 18, 2008, 14:16 GMT

    the biggest culprit in this is the BCCI and specificaly Lalit Modi. He is the single biggest power broker in this. Hungry for money, [ower and attention he is ruining the careers of players. He has to be lynched in public. These players have done no wrong. Is it wrong to think of ones financial security ? And BCCI behaves as though they own cricket and cricketers. A player slogs his ass off and makes sacrifices to reach where he is. These bloody administrators sit on their fat asses in AC rooms and dicate who should play where. I hope Zee and Stanford get together and grind BCCI into the ground.

  • KAMESWARA RAO on September 18, 2008, 12:10 GMT

    It is totally incorrect to impose ban on Bangladesh players. The general public should be sympathetic towards these players as these are victims of BCCI power game. BCCI felt the tournament like ICL is not good for Cricket and yet floated IPL and now they are addicted to it and are forcing rest of the world to listen them and adjust their calendar just because of their money power.

  • Pankaj on September 18, 2008, 11:18 GMT

    I totally agree with LemonFromMadaripur. To me the traitor is the BCB, who is not selecting the players that are available for selection. The ICL contract as I understand is not in conflict with performing the national duties. Instead BCB choose a simple path that requires no extra efforts, just ban the players, claiming this will be a deterrent for others. If they were really serious about the Bangladesh cricket, they should have addressed the root cause by talking to the players.

  • safnan on September 18, 2008, 10:52 GMT

    they don't deserve to get ten year bans. they can't just be banned because they're gonna represent a different bangladeshi team. they're still gonna represent bangladesh in a way. it's not as if they've given up cricket for life. i don't think habibul bashar should've got the ban even though it doesn't make a difference. i'm upset about shariar nafees. at least we get to watch more cricket.

  • safnan on September 18, 2008, 10:44 GMT

    they're not criminals. they don't deserve to get ten year bans. i don't blame guys like habibul bashar and stuff but shariar nafees, dhiman ghosh etc, i blame. their still gonna represent a bangladeshi team. it's a positive thing. we can support two teams now, we get to watch more cricket.

  • Mostaq on September 18, 2008, 9:14 GMT

    I think the traitors (please don't consider the expired players) are very gently punished, they deserve more. Some of them are simply liars. I don't understand why some people are supporting them. They retired from the national team just for money. Some of the traitors are now saying that if the national team calls, they will respond - this is ridiculous. Then why did they retire?This is an historic example of greediness. How could we expect good cricket from those players with such mentality? My best hope is that BCB will be strict to the decision and never re-think about the traitors.

  • No featured comments at the moment.