Indian Cricket League

Bangladesh players sever ties with ICL

Sriram Veera

June 5, 2009

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The Dhaka Warriors team is all smiles after the win, Dhaka Warriors v Mumbai Champs, ICL, 21st match, Gurgaon, October 27, 2008
Alok Kapali: "We are looking forward to resuming our careers with Bangladesh and are happy that they have welcomed us back" © ICL
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The Bangladesh players with the ICL have severed ties with the league and made themselves available for the national team. The players - who form the Dhaka Warriors side - are expected to visit the Bangladesh Cricket Board office in a couple of days.

The exodus further undermines the ICL, which lost 79 Indians and several other foreign players after the national boards, led by the BCCI, announced an amnesty for players who cut ties with the league.

Most players are believed to have written to the ICL on Thursday and Friday seeking a release; three team members - Mohammad Rafique, Aftab Ahmed and Mahbubul Karim - were expected to do so later on Friday. The former national captain Habibul Bashar became the first player to break away from the ICL on May 17th.

Mohammad Jalal Yunus, a Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) member and chairman of its media committee, confirmed the exodus. "They did contact us and let us know about their decision," Yunus told Cricinfo. "The players are expected to come to the board office in a day or two with the letters."

The board, he said, had reminded the players of the June 15 deadline for submitting NOCs from the ICL. "They have to submit the copy of the NOC to the cricket board," he said. "Once everything is clear they can join domestic cricket."

The BCB has set December 31, 2009 as the cooling off period before the players are eligible for national selection. "Most of the players are still good," Yunus said. "Once they prove their fitness and performance in the domestic circuit till December 31, they will be up for national selection. There won't be any discrimination against them from us. Maybe they didn't know the consequences then [when they joined ICL]. We welcome them with open arms. I am hopeful they won't repeat their mistake."

Alok Kapali, one of those who joined the ICL, said it didn't long for the players to come to the decision after the mass exodus by the Indians.

"After the 79 Indian players left, it was an easy decision for us. We were left with an uncertain future with ICL and most of us are young and have a cricketing future to look forward to," Kapali told Cricinfo. "Bashar left first, of course, and when the Indian players left, the rest of us had a meeting with each other and decided to get back to Bangladesh cricket.

"We are looking forward to resuming our careers with Bangladesh and are happy that they have welcomed us back. Our average age is 24-26 and we were not sure where the ICL was going. We would like to play in the IPL and hopefully we will get a chance."

The Dhaka Warriors team was formed in September last year, before the 2008-09 season of the ICL. The BCB responded by banning all 13 players for ten years.

The list of players who have left ICL is : Aftab Ahmed, Alok Kapali, Dhiman Ghosh, Farhad Reza, Golam Mabud, Mahbubul Karim, Manjural Islam, Mohammad Rafique, Mohammad Sharif, Mosharraf Hossain, Nazimuddin, Shahriar Nafees, Tapash Baisya.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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