Bangladesh news June 8, 2012

FICA begins legal action over BPL payments


Legal proceedings have been initiated by the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) against the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and the franchises involved in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) following a widespread failure to pay players.

The first edition of the BPL ended in February but, despite repeated assurances and deadlines, FICA has been informed that many players have yet to receive full payment. As a result, the players' organisation has instructed lawyers in Dhaka to file a claim against the relevant franchises and the BCB.

"This is a black and white matter," Tim May, the chief executive of FICA, told ESPNcricinfo. "It was stipulated by contract how much the players would be paid and the date by which they would receive payment. It was also stipulated that, if the franchises couldn't pay, then the BCB would act as guarantors and would make the payments.

"We have been waiting for four months. Deadlines have come and gone and all we have had is a litany of excuses. It has come to the stage where all avenues of dialogue have dried up and the BCB have stopped responding to FICA.

"If it was not such a serious matter, some of the excuses they are coming up with would be amusing. They have said there are foreign currency issues, for example, but even some of the Bangladesh players have not been paid. They keep saying the payments will be made tomorrow, or next week, or the week after, but it has never happened."

May derided the behaviour of the Bangladesh board as "amateurish" and even questioned the integrity of some of those involved in the organisation of the tournament which attracted such diverse overseas players as Chris Gayle, Shahid Afridi, Stuart MacGill and Peter Trego. Afridi, who topped the auction at $700,000, was reported last month as saying that he had been paid.

"We don't know if they have the funds available to make payments," he said. "If we had a relationship based on trust we could understand their issues and agree a timeline for payments, as we did with the Sri Lanka board when they had some cash flow difficulties. But they have behaved in an amateurish manner and we have no confidence in them or their integrity."

Mustafa Kamal, the BCB president, has ambitions to become a president of the ICC, but May suggested that the continued impasse could harm his candidature.

"The integrity of people involved in the leadership of Bangladesh cricket is spiralling downwards uncontrollably," he said. "We have had continued assurances from Mustafa Kamal - a man touted as the next ICC president - but the continued non-payment does not reflect him in a particularly good light."

The episode presents a serious threat to the second edition of the BPL, which is due to begin in January 2013. FICA will take a more uncompromising line when it comes to advice they give players about payment.

"Our advice to players is not to get involved in future unless they are either paid, or they receive bank guarantees, before they board the plane," May continued. "The BPL will probably say that is unreasonable, but they have brought this on themselves. We have been trying to resolve this for months and legal action - which will take money that we could better spend on developing the game - is a last resort.

"Our recommendation this year was for players not to travel until they had received 25% of their payment, but some went anyway. If you have a situation where players don't receive that upfront payment, it is a sure sign that things are likely to go pear-shaped. We have major worries about the administration of the BPL."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on June 11, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    Pretty poor, the event itself was well run, it was suppose to be profitable, the BCB has a new major sponsor, 200% up on the previous. Players should get paid. Who'd come back next year? @Em Parvaz - mate Tim May is dong his job 100% perfectly. If players are not getting paid, the players will expect him to come in swinging. The event finished months ago, it is shabby treatment & should NOT be tolerated!

  • Dummy4 on June 10, 2012, 18:09 GMT

    Interesting that how people forget that the Semi-final result was in a fiasco. And twice the name of the finalist was changed and in the early hours of morning the rules was interpreted to give a different team.

  • Muthuvel on June 10, 2012, 17:22 GMT

    It is important to have a fiscal sense, if BD has ability for x amount of revenue they should aim exactly for that amount, and manage expenses likewise. Good business sense should prevail over national emotions. Hope BD learn quickly from this, have a reduced and more robust game next year, best of luck from India.

  • Dummy4 on June 10, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    Tigers...hahahaha..they cannot be even called cats....

  • Dummy4 on June 10, 2012, 9:54 GMT

    I dont understand why Tim May has been jumping up and down. There is has to be some agenda. I am not saying BCB is perfect. They are the reason why we are still talking about this mess even months after it ended. They should have done better. But the things dont add up.

    After a lot of facts finding I question Mr May's integrity as a CEO of such a respected organisation. I think he lacks diplomatic skills that is required for any Chief Executive! I dont about you guys, but he is definitely not acting like one! On the other hand Mr Kamal showed lot of maturity by responding and even accepting the shortfall how these all were organised in such a hurry. ( Even though I dont think that is a good excuse)

  • umair on June 9, 2012, 17:55 GMT

    shame 4 so called tigers..

  • V.L on June 9, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    BPL is a very succesful event in generating most controversies in a single season. Am I the only one who thinks its first season will be its last? @Reyme All IPL francises need to furnish a bank guarantee for $200 million. It was raised to 330 for Kochi and Pune. The bank guarantee will be sufficient to pay them all for 20 seasons or so. Hence IPL never had any payment dues. That is why overseas players love to play in it!

  • Babaji on June 9, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    It is obvious Bangladesh did not earn any money from the BPL that's why cannot pay the players now.

    No one watched the BPL cause they were not able to sell it for viewership. There was no interest in the event, and now lack of payments will dent it even further.

  • Babaji on June 9, 2012, 16:03 GMT

    SHAME ON BANGLADESH!! This is what they call a successful event?

  • Dummy4 on June 9, 2012, 14:40 GMT

    This is an embarassing situation, shouldn't happen again.....

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