Indian Cricket League

Habibul Bashar cuts ties with ICL

Ajay S Shankar

May 17, 2009

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Habibul Bashar addresses the media, New Delhi, September 16, 2008
Habibul Bashar would like to return to official cricket © AFP
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Habibul Bashar, the former Bangladesh captain, has informed the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) that he has severed all ties with the unauthorised ICL and would like to return to official cricket, according to a senior official. The BCB's doors are now open for other ICL cricketers from Bangladesh to return, Mohammad Jalal Yunus, BCB board member, said.

"Bashar has written to the BCB president that he wants to come back," Yunus, who heads the BCB's media committee, told Cricinfo. "We are happy to welcome him back once it is confirmed that he has severed all ties with the ICL."

Bashar was captain of ICL's Dhaka Warriors, which is the only foreign team in the league apart from the Lahore Badshahs, and has informed the BCB that he has sent a notice to the ICL seeking to scrap his contract with the league.

"I have already sent a notice to the ICL terminating my agreement and sought the amnesty offered by the Bangladesh Cricket Board," Bashar told AFP. "The board has said they are happy that I have applied for a comeback. I think I've two more years to give to the country and I don't want to stay out of mainstream cricket anymore. There is no doubt the ICL is very lucrative, but money is not everything."

The ICL had given its players time until May 15 to sent in their release requests after many national boards under the official ICC umbrella announced amnesty offers for their ICL players over the last month. At least 40 Indian cricketers are believed to have applied for a release from the league after the Indian board announced its amnesty offer on April 29.

The BCB decided to allow Bangladesh's ICL cricketers to participate in domestic cricket, subject to the termination of their contracts with the unauthorised league by June 15. These players will be available for international selection from December 31, 2009, the BCB said.

The BCB had last year announced 10-year bans in its ICL players, including Bashar and other internationals such as Aftab Ahmed, Alok Kapali, Shahriar Nafees, Farhad Reza, Dhiman Ghosh and Mosharraf Hossain.

"We hope that more Bangladesh players will now return to the official fold," Yunus said. "We want them to return. Our doors are open and we will welcome them back. As far as Bashar is concerned, he will first have to prove his match-fitness and perform in domestic cricket before he is considered for the national team."

Bashar, 36, was captain of Bangladesh for three years from 2004 before joining the ICL in September 2008. Under him, the Dhaka Warriors finished fifth in the 2008 edition of the league, and he also captained a Bangladesh XI that won one match in the ICL world series which was cut short by the fallout of the Mumbai attacks.

Ajay Shankar is deputy editor of Cricinfo

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