Payment delay leaves Ervine and Williams stranded
Zimbabwean cricketers Sean Ervine and Sean Williams have been left stranded in a Dhaka hotel after Brothers Union, the team they represent in the Dhaka Premier Division, failed to pay the accommodation costs on time. The passports of the players have been confiscated by the hotel, Tropical Daisy, because of the unpaid bill, making it impossible for them to leave. Ervine and Williams are also awaiting outstanding match fees.
Amin Khan, the Brothers Union manager, said the problem would be resolved tomorrow and that the players would be paid as well.
Ervine and Williams arrived in Dhaka on October 29 and have had to stay seven days longer than planned because of this issue. Ervine is due to fly to the UK as soon as his documents are in order, while Williams is supposed to head to Chittagong to play in a corporate Twenty20 tournament. They have been told that until the account is settled, their travel papers will not be released.
Brothers Union also booked Ervine on an economy-class ticket to London. His contract, which has been seen by ESPNcricinfo, contains a clause that states he will be provided with a "return business-class ticket," and that is not the only provision Ervine said the club had breached.
He claimed he had been paid for only three of the five matches he played, and received 14 days worth of daily allowance, although he had been in the country for almost a month. Williams said he was owed US$1500 in match fees, US$100 for his visa costs, US$320 as reimbursement for a flight from Bulawayo to Johannesburg, which he said the club agreed to pay, and 18,000 taka in daily allowance.
Both players said they received some money from Brothers Union official Amin Khan, who has since not taken any calls or answered messages. "I want this to be a warning to future players and if needs be this should to go straight to the BCB to even suspend Brothers Union from the league," Ervine said. "No one has taken the responsibility upon themselves to sort this issue out."
Williams is similarly disgruntled with the current situation and said it extended beyond him and Ervine. "No disrespect to current players of Brothers Union, who are a good bunch of guys, but they too are owed a sum of money from the club," he said.
Amin Khan said the delay was due to an internal problem that arose because the club did not make it to the Super League of the DPL. "Many Dhaka hotels keep passports of foreign sportsmen and women when they are only playing for clubs, for security reasons. We will be paying the (Tropical Daisy) hotel tomorrow and the passport will be released. As for their payment, I have talked to them and will pay them," he told ESPNcricinfo. "We have helped Williams gain a contract to play in a T20 tournament in Chittagong while Ervine will probably go home from here. We have confirmed air tickets for both. Brothers Union is a major club in Bangladesh. The club couldn't make it to the Super League of DPL so we had to deal with some internal problems. I can assure you that all foreign players will leave with their full payment."
Neither Ervine nor Williams is new to playing cricket in Bangladesh. Both are on their fifth tour of the country, having traveled there with the Zimbabwean national team twice and played in the BPL twice. They were reimbursed 75% of their fees from the BPL, although the full amounts were due to be paid in August this year.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent. Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent