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March 26, 2014
The future of the Bangladesh Premier League as a reputable international tournament is now in serious doubt after FICA, the international players' federation, advised against future participation because of prolonged non-payment of fees.
ESPNcricinfo understands many players are still awaiting full payment for the 2013 edition of the BPL, with FICA - the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations - now stating it has "no choice" but to "recommend players don't participate."
FICA's condemnation of BPL comes at a bad time for Bangladesh as it concentrates on staging a successful World Twenty20 tournament.
"Whilst a few players have received full payments from their participation in the 2013 BPL, the vast majority haven't and payments are now months overdue," Paul Marsh, chairman of FICA, said. "This is a repeat of the issues we saw in 2012.
"Unfortunately this is an outcome FICA predicted and we advised players prior to the tournament of our concerns. We were hoping the BPL would prove us wrong and deliver an event that addressed our concerns.
"It didn't and going forward we are left with no choice but to recommend players don't participate in an event that doesn't respect players' basic contractual rights."
The latest player chasing payment is Sri Lankan Tillakaratne Dilshan. He claims he has been paid only 21 per cent of the fee promised to him for representing Dhaka Gladiators. Although he was promised a second instalment immediately after the tournament, this payment never reached his bank account. The franchise owners insist they owe him nothing.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board, who originally said they would act as guarantors in the event of non-payment issues in the BPL, are now claiming it is not their responsibility to pay the fees incurred by franchises. Sri Lanka Cricket have made representations to the BCB on Dilshan's behalf, but to no avail.
Tim May, the former chairman of FICA, had warned players against participating in the BPL as early as 2012 due to similar issues.
The news comes just days after it emerged that several Chittagong Kings players - England's Ravi Bopara, Netherlands' Ryan ten Doeschate, West Indies' Kevon Cooper, Zimbabwe's Brendan Taylor and Surrey's Jason Roy - had also complained to the BCB that they have not been paid.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: George Dobell
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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