Bangladesh news June 12, 2012

BPL set to pay remaining dues to foreign players

ESPNcricinfo staff

The Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) governing council said that the remaining outstanding amounts due to the league's foreign players will be paid very shortly. BPL secretary Sirajuddin Mohammad Alamgir told ESPNcricinfo that they had received a letter from the franchises, which said that within the next two days the $235,000 (approx) in unpaid wages will be settled. A Bangladesh board press release from later in the day also made an assurance, saying that the "BCB, as the guarantor, will complete the payment of the dues shortly".

This was the council's second meeting with the franchises in the space of four days, after the Federation of International Cricketers Associations' chief executive, Tim May, had said the BPL was "amateurish" in their dealings with the unpaid cricketers.

"They gave us in writing that the money will be paid within the next day or two," Alamgir said after the meeting. "We understand that the franchises were new to this [being part of a league]. And they have got into a lot of trouble regarding paying these players because of various issues, but they have committed that nobody will go unpaid."

ESPNcricinfo has learned from sources in the different franchises that there have been incidents of wrong bank-account information from one player, which led to delayed payment, while another was said to have become angry when the franchise belatedly contacted him regarding payments.

While the BPL is trying to keep the international players happy, several local players are as yet unpaid. The franchises have also said that around 30% of the local players' payment remain unpaid and will be settled in seven to ten days. The governing council will confirm the figure of outstanding dues to the local players.

The BPL council's meeting with the franchises was chaired by BCB chief Mustafa Kamal. He had told ESPNcricinfo recently that the issue of unpaid wages has never been a problem in Bangladesh. Overseas coaches too, he said, have never complained about payment.

"We have had foreign coaches working with our team for a long time - Eddie Barlow, Gordon Greenidge, Dav Whatmore, so many names," Kamal said. "We have not defaulted on payments to them, they have never had any complaints."

Kamal said the BCB is "financially one of the richest boards in the world" and recounted the names of overseas players who had played in Bangladesh's lucrative club leagues in the 1990s, including Neil Fairbrother, Richard Illingworth and Ajay Jadeja. "I have always said that if there is a problem with BPL payments because it is a new league and there may be some mistakes, it will be BCB's responsibility and we will pay up instead [of the franchises]."

He said it was important for the BPL to be successful. "Its stakeholders are the players, the fans and the country, and it has benefitted all of these. If it doesn't do well, who will be the biggest losers? The players."