Bangladesh news

BCB-PCB impasse affects Dhaka cricket league

Mohammad Isam and Umar Farooq

September 5, 2013

Comments: 20 | Text size: A | A

Ahmed Shehzad acknowledges the applause after completing his hundred, Barisal Burners v Duronto Rajshahi, BPL, 1st semi-final, Mirpur, February 28, 2012
Cricketers like Ahmed Shehzad have participated in various domestic competitions in Bangladesh © BPL T20
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There is uncertainty over the participation of Pakistan players in the upcoming Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League, Bangladesh's domestic one-day competition, due to a strained relationship between the Bangladesh Cricket Board and the PCB.

With less than five days before the start of the league on September 10, none of the 12 Dhaka clubs have managed to confirm the services of a Pakistan player. This season, a club can field up to three foreign players during a match and can register 10 players during the season. However, according to the BCB, it has not received any no-objection certificates (NOCs) from the PCB, a situation similar to what occurred before start of the Bangladesh Premier League earlier this year.

An NOC is mandatory under a new ICC ruling on players participating in another country's domestic competition. Previously, the Dhaka clubs contacted the players who then sought permission from their respective province or department, and a letter was sent from the BCB or the Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis (CCDM) to help with visas in Bangladesh.

This year, however, the process is likely to be a drawn out one due to the impasse between the boards. Relations between the two boards have been difficult since a Dhaka court ruling stopped Bangladesh from touring Pakistan in April last year. Throughout 2012, the BCB sought to conduct the tour only to back off citing security fears. In December 2012, BCB chief Nazmul Hassan put the tour on hold and said that the side would visit Pakistan only if the overall security improved. Two weeks later, the PCB refused to issue NOCs to its players to participate in the BPL, giving the Bangladesh board another reason to delay the proposed international tour. The PCB's decision to prohibit its players from the BPL resulted in chaos as franchises scrambled to find last-minute replacements for Pakistan players two days before the tournament began.

"It wasn't us who told them not to come [to play in the BPL]," Hassan said. "It was the PCB who denied NOCs at the last minute. We played without them, and that is how we have remained. If suddenly they change the decision and contact the clubs here, it will be a different situation.

"We will play the Dhaka Premier League without the Pakistani players because the PCB hasn't given them the NOC. There's no need for any discussions. We have accepted their hasty decision not to send players during BPL. We were not invited for any discussions at the time."

According to the PCB, it is seeking a formal written communication from the BCB before considering the release of its players. The PCB said that players were being approached directly with no written agreement from the "Bangladeshi organisers and board".

The current requirement of an NOC to engage with a player from a foreign country was prevalent last year, and the PCB had to issue the letters to its players, after the BCB made it mandatory for clubs to sign only overseas cricketers with first-class experience.

Iqbal Yusuf Chowdhury, who is in charge of Cricket Coaching School (CCS), one of the twelve Dhaka Premier League clubs, said he would seek the BCB's help in getting Pakistan cricketers to play in the tournament: "I will submit a letter on Saturday, to ask BCB to help me with NOCs from PCB."

Other Dhaka club officials have already started to look elsewhere this year, particularly to countries where players are free between September and October. A few clubs are interested in approaching Sri Lanka cricketers and some players have reportedly signed up. Clubs are also likely to contact players from England, India and Zimbabwe.

A steady flow of Pakistani cricketers, international and uncapped, has been a feature of Bangladesh's domestic competitions, particularly the Dhaka Premier League. Ever since the clubs were allowed a quota of foreign players, they have mainly been interested in bringing cricketers from Pakistan.

Even when the second tier of the Dhaka league system or the first-class competition allowed foreigners for a short while, Pakistani players were the ones in demand. Players who are regulars in the Dhaka Premier League could also suffer financially, as a result of the issues between the boards. Usually, players are paid between $5,000 to $15,000 per season, depending on their first-class experience and Dhaka league performance. For international players, the rate goes up substantially and the clubs are often rewarded.

Wasim Akram was the biggest name from Pakistan to have played in the Dhaka league. Shahid Afridi, Abdur Razzak, Shoaib Malik and Imran Farhat have also played domestic cricket in the country; Farhat scored the first double-century in Bangladesh first-class cricket. In recent years, Misbah-ul-Haq, Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shehzad, Khurram Manzoor, Khalid Latif, Fawad Alam and Hammad Azam have played in the Dhaka Premier League regularly.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by wwisher on (September 11, 2013, 1:12 GMT)

BD wont lose anything if Pak players don't come to play here rather Pak players would lose some scope of earning some money. I don't think county club would take any rising pak cricketer, let alone playing in Australia. young pak cricketer more like slogger or pincher, Pak national team struggling against even Zimbabwe so what makes any1 think they would be point of interest for County or Australia or any other club across the globe. So BD is the only door which is still open for PAK, so grab it or lose it!!

Posted by Tokai69 on (September 9, 2013, 19:15 GMT)

PAK brothers are welcome to BAN domestic league including BPL. The problem was caused by the two previous board chairmans. Since they're gone now, let's do a fresh start, and allow a lot of common fans to enjoy the game of their favorite players.

Posted by   on (September 8, 2013, 7:23 GMT)

If Bangladesh's cancelling of Pakistan tour was a great fault to PCB, then why they still couldn't arrange a home series against other Cricket playing nations. I don't know why Bangladesh must have to play first in Pakistan's domestic.

I expect a green-signal from the PCB president, considering Cricketers career & Cricket's beauty about the Dhaka Premier League, because Tit for Tat can never be a good solution for Cricket alike Politics.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 17:09 GMT)

Bangladesh should make sure few things if they want to play more better cricket.If they sees my 5 points and does the exact thing surely we will become a far better side.My Points are:-

1)If there are 10 stadiums to host the Premier League,produce 3 pitches very pacy and bouncy,3 pitches which will be good for batsman,3 for spinners,1 that will behave randomly.From here we will get good pace bowler,good batter and few good spinners.

2)Allow foreign players to participate it doesn't matters from which country/state they are because they can also learn something from us and we can also learn something from them.

3)Produce more Premier Leagues,BPL,Dhaka Premier Leagues.Because from there we are going to get players not from the street.

4)Propose other countries for playing more matches.These year we have played only 6 odi and along with nz it will be 9 thats really poor where as Zim have already played 15 and they will play Sl later this year.

5)Built more high quality stadiums.

Posted by CricLook on (September 6, 2013, 16:12 GMT)

I think both BCB and PCB have shared responsibility for this situation. Pakistani cricketers are good talent to create excitement in the league.

But I think BD clubs should look beyond Pak crickters. Their young crickters are technically faulty who believe on boundary adventurism. They have strong bowling lineup but BD cricket have workable bowling resource although that department also need development.

I think BD club should bring players with sound batting technique who love to build an innings and can stay in the pitch at the time of need. Even they may be first class cricketer.

Technically young BD players are far better than Pakistani young players. Its true PAK have some edgy quality batsman , but soon they will be on retirement. We need to build a first class structure where foreign players will contribute in building our team, help them improving temperament and show to build and stay in the pitch. At those context BD don't need PAK cricketers, don't cry for them.

Posted by Rafelgibt on (September 6, 2013, 16:09 GMT)

Looks like BAN haters got another job to bash us.LOL when PAK and ZIM fan becomes mad at BAN.But if you look very precisely then you would find that BAN is the only option for your country players to play for besides your country.Some very optimistic PAK fan asking for Shefield Field league in AUS that also shows their(very few)cricketing knowledge.Whether you guys like it or not BAN is the only option for your players to earn money while participating in 50 overs tournament.Mind it......

Posted by Cold_Drink on (September 6, 2013, 16:05 GMT)

People still misunderstanding the nomination of Mostafa Kamal as in exchange of Bangladesh so called proposed tourof pakistan. Which is absolutely wrong. When rotation system was initiated with Bangladesh and Pakistan were asked to nomiate forICC VP post, Pakistani Ehsan Mani was nominated with agreement of Bangladesh getting turn in next slot. So, when again they got the slot it should have been nomination from Bangladesh without any further condition as it was previously agreed. But Pakistan forgot their earlier commitment and started the chaos of conditions. So, its Pakistan who started the dispute Not Bangladesh. However, to the best interest of of cricket and its fans accorss both countries, this dispute/saga needs to be resolved sooner than later.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 14:52 GMT)

Egos aside, think of the benefit players exchange can bring. A player like Imran Farhat, Ahmed Shahzad revived their careers playing in Bangladesh. Heck, even Misbah almost gave up playing for the country when he was playing in Dhaka league and called up for national duty and became the captain. Ask any of the Pakistani players and they will tell you how much they love playing in Bangladesh because a. the language/cultural barrier isn't much b. BD is their only other option to play leagues. Not all players are T20 experts that they can become mercenaries like Afridi, Shoaib. However, BD players benefit too playing alongside with Shoaib, Akmal, Razzaque etc. Dhaka leagues had legends like Akram, Jayasuriya, Soaib Akhter, Afridi, Gayle, Hodge, Tait, playing.. so to consider it a minnow league, only shows ignorance..

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 9:24 GMT)

bad decisions by both boards, its a high tym that the boards resolve their issues , both boards need each other regardless of who needs the other most , not only both the boards must realise that they need each other but also the ppl from both sides as well

Posted by   on (September 6, 2013, 7:35 GMT)

I fully agree that Pakistan Players are a big draw for the Bangladesh crowd however it is a high time that Bangladesh should look in to the foreign players beyond Pakistan. There are very good players in Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and the West Indies who could come and fill the gap. In addition, there are several good players in Ireland, Holland and Kenya they could look in to.

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