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September 17, 2008
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has rejected the retirement letters of the 'rebel' players who have joined the Indian Cricket League (ICL), maintaining that they violated their contracts by not giving prior notice.
"We are not accepting their retirement letters," Gazi Ashraf, chairman of the BCB's cricket operations committee, told the Dhaka-based Daily Star. "They didn't mention when would their retirements be effective from.
"It was also totally unacceptable the way they talked with the media and hence they breached the code of conduct. The cricket operations committee will table their recommendations to the emergency meeting and they will ultimately take the decision. And definitely everything will be decided in line with the ICC's decision about unauthorised competition last March."
The BCB officials met with their legal experts yesterday to make the guideline for the meeting. Ashraf said that the BCB would welcome the players back if they approached the board. "Still our door is open for them but time and tide wait for none in this world," he said. "It's true we will miss their international experience but we have players in the pipeline. And I request everybody to look at their recent performance."
According to Hossain, the BCB's mistake was it followed the previous regime's players' contract document where there were " a number of loopholes". He said the BCB would update it and aim to improve the financial benefits for players in domestic competitions.
The Dhaka Warriors, the ICL's newest franchise, comprises Habibul Bashar, the former national captain, recent internationals Aftab Ahmed, Alok Kapali, Shahriar Nafees, Farhad Reza, Dhiman Ghosh, Mosharraf Hossain, Mohammad Rafique, Tapash Baisya, Manjural Islam and Mohammad Sharif, reserve wicketkeeper Golam Mabud, and Mahbubul Karim, part of the Bangladesh Academy team currently touring Sri Lanka.
Jamie Siddons, the Bangladesh coach, said the exodus had been expected and that it will be impossible to get the players back. "We can't afford to lose that many players on a regular basis," Siddons told AFP. "We'll replace these guys with young players but my biggest concern is the ICL will come knocking again next year. The guys who were going are gone and the guys who are staying can get on with the job."
Naimur Rahman, Bangladesh's first Test captain and current national selector and president of the Cricketers' Welfare Association of Bangladesh (CWAB), condemned the players' move to the ICL. "We have little resources and few players," he said. "We can't think like other countries in this regard."
Aminul Islam, a former Bangladesh captain who is also a member of the CWAB, labeled the attitude of the 'rebels' as 'unprofessional and childish'. "I saw no reason for them to retire," he said. "If they gave specific grounds for resignation, then I would have no problem with it. Their steps will be harmful because it showed the wrong way for the future generations. I wouldn't call them blackmailers, but definitely it was a childish and unprofessional decision.
"One of them said that the coach [Jamie Siddons] misbehaved with him. Most of us have heard worse things but never came out in public," said Islam. "Another said that he wasn't assured of his spot in the team but he has been in the team for the past year. Only one's performance can assure him a place in a national team."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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