September 17, 2008

More than money

Utpal Shuvro
The exodus of Bangladesh players to the ICL is not so much about money as about a feeling of insecurity and neglect
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Why would youngsters like Shahriar Nafees spurn the name, fame and public adoration gained by playing international cricket? © AFP
 

After losing its way following the promises of a new beginning at the 2007 World Cup, Bangladesh cricket is currently in tumult. It's as if it has been shaken by a huge earthquake - an earthquake called the Indian Cricket League.

Since Sunday, when the news broke about the seven contracted BCB players, and seven others, joining the ICL, this has become the only topic of discussion across the country. Even the political uncertainties have become secondary. When the players eventually handed in their retirement letters and were subsequently unveiled as signings by the ICL in India, among cricket lovers there was wonder, despair, anger - and, above all, shock.

There's an easy explanation for why Mohammed Rafique, who has retired from international cricket, or Habibul Bashar, who is in the twilight of his career, joined the ICL. The same could be said of Manjural Islam, Mohammad Sharif and Tapash Baishya, whose international careers are considered largely over. But why would youngsters like Aftab Ahmed, Shahriar Nafees and Dhiman Ghosh spurn the name, fame and public adoration gained by playing international cricket? Granted, the ICL is an easy way to make money: play three months a year for three years, and get paid huge amounts - it's a no-brainer. But didn't any of these youngsters consider the fact that the ICL was forbidden fruit, on tasting which they would immediately become international pariahs?

Many in Bangladesh have muddied the issue by confusing it with patriotism and treachery, but I'm not ready to do that. These boys aren't going to rob or steal, they are going to play cricket. More importantly, the ICL is forbidden only because of the egotistical stand of the BCCI. Otherwise what's the difference between the ICL and the IPL? If Bangladesh's left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak has committed no sin by playing in the IPL, the likes of Bashar aren't doing anything wrong either by joining the ICL. In any case, this analysis through a moral prism is redundant; the ICL-bound Bangladesh players aren't protesting the wrongs done to the ICL, they are lured by the prospect of money.

That, though, may be simplifying things too much. After Sunday's news came out, the BCB revealed how much the retired contracted players had earned while playing for Bangladesh over the last three years. The regulars - Bashar, Aftab and Nafees - each received Taka 1 crore (approximately US$150,000), which isn't that much less than what they are rumoured to be getting from their ICL contracts.

For its part the BCB, trying to retain the rest, has explained to them that just the match fees for all Tests, ODIs and Twenty20 matches for the next three years will be almost Taka 1 crore. But only if the player plays in all the matches. And therein lies the rub of perhaps the entire issue - none of those who have joined the ICL could be certain of playing every game for Bangladesh, or of his future in international cricket.

Bashar never got a chance to play an ODI after giving up the captaincy last May. By far Bangladesh's leading batsman of all time and their most successful captain, he was dropped from the side for the final Test against South Africa last February. He's been out of cricket for the seven months since, with not a single selector in touch with him, and has been forced into the category of "has-beens". There's more. Bashar has complained of being insulted during practice, of being taunted about his age and generally made to feel unwanted. This may or may not be true but it was his perception; for him, the ICL came as a blessing out of the blue.

 
 
Questions have been raised about the way the BCB handles players. One common complaint among players is that there's never been a sympathetic arm around the shoulder after a bad performance. Questions have been raised about the dressing-room culture in Bangladesh. Bashar has said the young players aren't leaving for money but because they don't enjoy playing for the national team
 

For the others, age was on their side but none was an automatic choice for the team. However, if their inconsistent performances were responsible for that, so were the inconsistencies of the selectors, which the players have pointed to while justifying their decision to join the ICL. Alok Kapali, who staged a comeback after one-and-a-half years with a superb century against India in the recent Asia Cup, has been denied a contract despite having played for Bangladesh in the last three series. For him, the comments of Rafiqul Alam, chief selector for the Australia tour, were the last straw. During discussions over the decision to join the ICL, Alam is alleged to have simply said, "There's no problem if you go, just tell us in time. We have lots of cricketers in our academy and Under-19 teams."

The Kapali incident has also raised questions about the way the BCB handles players. One common complaint among players is that there's never been a sympathetic arm around the shoulder after a bad performance. Nafees has had a good career, with a brilliant 138 against Australia early on and 1000 ODI runs in 2006; he was given the vice-captaincy in recognition of these talents. Yet he was not told why he was dropped for the Asia Cup earlier this year.

Some may consider these to be excuses, but serious questions have been raised about the dressing-room culture in Bangladesh. Bashar has said the young players aren't leaving for money but because they don't enjoy playing for the national team.

There could be another reason for this lack of enjoyment - Bangladesh's dismal performance following the World Cup. Series losses and widespread criticism may have made the pressure unbearable for many of the players. Maybe the ICL is an escape route from this pressure. Less pressure, more money - as I said, it's a no-brainer. I wonder how many of these players would have accepted the ICL offer had it come just after the last World Cup, when 'giant-killing' acts seemed to be second nature to the Bangladesh team?

What's happened has happened. The question now is, how will Bangladesh, already down, recover from this body blow? Coping as they were with inadequate player quality, how will they fill this huge hole? Whatever coach Jamie Siddons may think, the Test team needed Bashar and the others for a while longer. Similarly, a stroke-maker like Aftab will be missed in the ODI team. The potential of Kapali, praised by none other than Viv Richards, will be unfulfilled. The words of chief selector Alam may be laughable but they bear an unintended irony - Bangladesh's cricketers are so inconsistent that, with a few exceptions, one can't be distinguished from the other. The feats of Kapali, Aftab and Nafees aren't that great that they cannot be replicated - and whoever replaces them will be as inconsistent.

It's said one can find a positive in any disaster. You can find one here too. Because of the patchy performances of the players, the Bangladesh team never had a settled look all these days, and everyone cribbed about it. But look at it this way: losing them won't make that much of a difference. There was always a regret that they were inconsistent; now, because they were inconsistent, there shouldn't be any regrets!

Utpal Shuvro, the sports editor of Dhaka daily Prothom Alo, broke the story of the ICL's Bangladesh signings

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY zakaria.hossain on | September 19, 2008, 14:08 GMT

    Shuvro Da, great writings. Our organisers should read the article.

  • POSTED BY CanberraSparkle on | September 19, 2008, 4:32 GMT

    to Davesh_cricket_analyst, It would be good to remember how Other countries like India, New Zealand did in their early days and were getting defeated by club sides! Even in 1992 India was getting all out below 100 in Australia! Today Australia is dying to play with them and the series of IND-AUS is being labeled as important as Ashes if not more. Arrogance towards others does not take you to high, remember West-Indies, once invincible now skeleton, it can change very soon. We need to learn to respect others, not to disrespect them.

  • POSTED BY jeyaramabalan on | September 19, 2008, 4:29 GMT

    BCB not allowed the players to play in ICL but they are allowing to play in IPL. ICL is not approved by ICC. otherwise what is the different between ICL and IPL? This happened because of BCB only. I won't blame the players. Nobody is playing without money. Everybody playing for money. The board should allow the player to play ICL. They failed to do that so the players taken a decision like this. If IPL is giving experience for players, ICL can also give that. The thing is BCB is supports BCCI and they are also trying to block ICL. Rather than supporting BCCI, they have to support the players. They have allow the players to play in these leagues. In IPL they are going get very less chances than ICL. If the board is ready to do this then there won't be any problem in future like this.

    Jeyaram

  • POSTED BY FlashAsh on | September 18, 2008, 20:56 GMT

    Remarkable!! What other sport/career can you have a 10 year ban imposed on your ability to make a living? Not only in your own country but every country that signs up to the BCCI Cartel/Monopoly. Surely this must be totally illegal from wherever you may come from?

    This means that your ability to support your family is being denied you, your ability to not have to conform to illegal employment practices is also being denied, surely this is almost a denial of Human Rights? Can we please get someone who has been banned to seek the assistance of a good lawyer to challenge this in a court that won't be tainted by BCCI money? They would be doing all players and indeed many Cricket Boards a great favour. Why not seek advice from Tony Greig? It worked for him?

    Furthermore, can I ask the dead-beats who constantly refer to all ICL players as Test has-beens chasing cash to look at Shane Bonds stats and also Kapil Dev's pedigree, Even Bashar, who's figures appear modest should be respected

  • POSTED BY chaitanya_lakkapragada on | September 18, 2008, 15:01 GMT

    C'mon don't argue that it's not just about money. The only thing that matters to these ICL Bangladeshi team is money. It's the BCB which has worked it's socks off to get Bangladesh cricket into world reckoning and made these people household names. I mean don't they even have 1% loyalty towards the cricket board which has been their parent body over the last 15 years. The fact that they didn't even the inform the BCB of their decision personally and sent them letters smacks of arrogance.

  • POSTED BY nitoo29 on | September 18, 2008, 14:09 GMT

    I m not sure on how much of the BCB's decision is influenced by overjealous members just trying to stop few cricketers from earning good money and how much of it is on the basis of trying to do good for the cricket of Bangladesh. If the cricketers are allowed by ICL to play for Bangladesh any time I don't see any problem. Being from Darwin I have first hand experiences of seeing what the cricketers are talking about. Rather than getting some certainty they were always worried about losing their position in the team. Humiliation and threat is very common and if you talk about self-respect or confidence of a 19-20 years old it's always depends on encouragement not threat. Open comments by the officials on cutting back all the facilities of the cricketers was very common during their stay over Darwin. It will be interesting to see how the board will be reacting if these cricketers start doing good at ICL. BCB should get some good CEO from foreign country with managerial experience.

  • POSTED BY LondonCalling on | September 18, 2008, 13:59 GMT

    Why 10 years, is this to keep others in line and set a precedence for other nations players.

    Those who love cricket for the sport and drama that it brings, will be saddened that a cricket board who had such potential in their hands with players who played with verve have now lost them because the board can't be bothered with them.

    20/20 is a double edged sword which will bring ruin to the game. Players have rights to play cricket, the BCCI only wish to keep their friends in the money trough.

    Sad days for cricket, but sadder for a small country giving in to the bigger neighbour who controls the cash

  • POSTED BY MichaelG on | September 18, 2008, 12:32 GMT

    The ICL could move its operations to Bangladesh and become the BCL. With one Bang, one Pak and ten Ind teams it could still be ratified by the BCB; would not be in competition with that other domestic competition, the IPL; and Bangladesh gets its national team back.

  • POSTED BY nahazzzz on | September 18, 2008, 12:11 GMT

    I sympathise with the players. There has not been enough support for the players individually. The board has always looked after its own interests. These players hardly get exposure outside interenational cirkcet. Playing in ICL would have done them a world of good. These players were simply ignored for IPL despite some being quite talented. Why not take this opportunity when their place in the team isn't certain? Only thing is, I wouldn't choose ICL over playing for my country despite any problems. A team always sticks together.

  • POSTED BY Davesh_cricket_analyst on | September 18, 2008, 9:40 GMT

    The writer has mentioned that a common complaint among players is that there's never been a sympathetic arm around the shoulder after a bad performance. Well "after a bad performance" ?? Its been a decade of bad performances with 3-4 good performances. I am sure Bdesh selectors & adminstrators feel disgusted with this team just like most of the people around the world feel watching them play.

  • POSTED BY zakaria.hossain on | September 19, 2008, 14:08 GMT

    Shuvro Da, great writings. Our organisers should read the article.

  • POSTED BY CanberraSparkle on | September 19, 2008, 4:32 GMT

    to Davesh_cricket_analyst, It would be good to remember how Other countries like India, New Zealand did in their early days and were getting defeated by club sides! Even in 1992 India was getting all out below 100 in Australia! Today Australia is dying to play with them and the series of IND-AUS is being labeled as important as Ashes if not more. Arrogance towards others does not take you to high, remember West-Indies, once invincible now skeleton, it can change very soon. We need to learn to respect others, not to disrespect them.

  • POSTED BY jeyaramabalan on | September 19, 2008, 4:29 GMT

    BCB not allowed the players to play in ICL but they are allowing to play in IPL. ICL is not approved by ICC. otherwise what is the different between ICL and IPL? This happened because of BCB only. I won't blame the players. Nobody is playing without money. Everybody playing for money. The board should allow the player to play ICL. They failed to do that so the players taken a decision like this. If IPL is giving experience for players, ICL can also give that. The thing is BCB is supports BCCI and they are also trying to block ICL. Rather than supporting BCCI, they have to support the players. They have allow the players to play in these leagues. In IPL they are going get very less chances than ICL. If the board is ready to do this then there won't be any problem in future like this.

    Jeyaram

  • POSTED BY FlashAsh on | September 18, 2008, 20:56 GMT

    Remarkable!! What other sport/career can you have a 10 year ban imposed on your ability to make a living? Not only in your own country but every country that signs up to the BCCI Cartel/Monopoly. Surely this must be totally illegal from wherever you may come from?

    This means that your ability to support your family is being denied you, your ability to not have to conform to illegal employment practices is also being denied, surely this is almost a denial of Human Rights? Can we please get someone who has been banned to seek the assistance of a good lawyer to challenge this in a court that won't be tainted by BCCI money? They would be doing all players and indeed many Cricket Boards a great favour. Why not seek advice from Tony Greig? It worked for him?

    Furthermore, can I ask the dead-beats who constantly refer to all ICL players as Test has-beens chasing cash to look at Shane Bonds stats and also Kapil Dev's pedigree, Even Bashar, who's figures appear modest should be respected

  • POSTED BY chaitanya_lakkapragada on | September 18, 2008, 15:01 GMT

    C'mon don't argue that it's not just about money. The only thing that matters to these ICL Bangladeshi team is money. It's the BCB which has worked it's socks off to get Bangladesh cricket into world reckoning and made these people household names. I mean don't they even have 1% loyalty towards the cricket board which has been their parent body over the last 15 years. The fact that they didn't even the inform the BCB of their decision personally and sent them letters smacks of arrogance.

  • POSTED BY nitoo29 on | September 18, 2008, 14:09 GMT

    I m not sure on how much of the BCB's decision is influenced by overjealous members just trying to stop few cricketers from earning good money and how much of it is on the basis of trying to do good for the cricket of Bangladesh. If the cricketers are allowed by ICL to play for Bangladesh any time I don't see any problem. Being from Darwin I have first hand experiences of seeing what the cricketers are talking about. Rather than getting some certainty they were always worried about losing their position in the team. Humiliation and threat is very common and if you talk about self-respect or confidence of a 19-20 years old it's always depends on encouragement not threat. Open comments by the officials on cutting back all the facilities of the cricketers was very common during their stay over Darwin. It will be interesting to see how the board will be reacting if these cricketers start doing good at ICL. BCB should get some good CEO from foreign country with managerial experience.

  • POSTED BY LondonCalling on | September 18, 2008, 13:59 GMT

    Why 10 years, is this to keep others in line and set a precedence for other nations players.

    Those who love cricket for the sport and drama that it brings, will be saddened that a cricket board who had such potential in their hands with players who played with verve have now lost them because the board can't be bothered with them.

    20/20 is a double edged sword which will bring ruin to the game. Players have rights to play cricket, the BCCI only wish to keep their friends in the money trough.

    Sad days for cricket, but sadder for a small country giving in to the bigger neighbour who controls the cash

  • POSTED BY MichaelG on | September 18, 2008, 12:32 GMT

    The ICL could move its operations to Bangladesh and become the BCL. With one Bang, one Pak and ten Ind teams it could still be ratified by the BCB; would not be in competition with that other domestic competition, the IPL; and Bangladesh gets its national team back.

  • POSTED BY nahazzzz on | September 18, 2008, 12:11 GMT

    I sympathise with the players. There has not been enough support for the players individually. The board has always looked after its own interests. These players hardly get exposure outside interenational cirkcet. Playing in ICL would have done them a world of good. These players were simply ignored for IPL despite some being quite talented. Why not take this opportunity when their place in the team isn't certain? Only thing is, I wouldn't choose ICL over playing for my country despite any problems. A team always sticks together.

  • POSTED BY Davesh_cricket_analyst on | September 18, 2008, 9:40 GMT

    The writer has mentioned that a common complaint among players is that there's never been a sympathetic arm around the shoulder after a bad performance. Well "after a bad performance" ?? Its been a decade of bad performances with 3-4 good performances. I am sure Bdesh selectors & adminstrators feel disgusted with this team just like most of the people around the world feel watching them play.

  • POSTED BY Davesh_cricket_analyst on | September 18, 2008, 9:35 GMT

    I am sure Bashar must be enjoying these moments. His cricketing skills could never give him any space on a sports website but his rebellious skills are.

  • POSTED BY Davesh_cricket_analyst on | September 18, 2008, 9:31 GMT

    My point is let Bangladesh play in any tournament they want to, be it IPL, ICL or BCL but for god sake don't allow them to play international cricket. Bangladesh as a team is destroying the value of international matches. They have been so poor for well over a decade & don't look like improving at all. And imagine what would be the standard of ICL. Any cricket tournament, which has even a scant degree of regard of cricketing standards would never invite Bangladeshi cricketers. Who on earth would want to see Ashrafuls & Kapalis, who average poorer than most of the tailenders of other teams. I think Bangladesh should be relegated to associate status. They just don't deserve to play test matches. I am sure a full time Ireland team would perform far better than Bangladesh.

  • POSTED BY Baundule on | September 18, 2008, 9:08 GMT

    ICL has applied for its recognition to the ICC. Till then, the decision of allowing players to play there solely depends on the cricket boards. So, what BCB did, at least in paper, they have to take the full responsibility. And on that point, I do not see any justification that these players can be banned, especially in their terms and coditions with the ICL, they are allowed to play for the country. <br> ICC should recognize the ICL, if they really want to globalize the game. Monopoly of the greedy BCCI won't help. And BCB should solve their own mis-management problems, rather than trying to make the BCCI (the board that is quite reluctant even to invite the Bangladesh team) happy.

  • POSTED BY bonaku on | September 18, 2008, 7:21 GMT

    These Bangladeshi audience should understand the players as well and need to be sensitive with their feelings. What they have to do when all the other international players getting big money. Nobody can disagree with the way the Asian cricket boards generally treat their players. Can any Bangladeshi tell what BCD has done to a common people? Nothing. Failure of Bangladesh team is mainly due to BCD.

  • POSTED BY mahfuzhillol on | September 18, 2008, 6:39 GMT

    I am a supporter of ICL, since it is giving a damn to BCCI who is trying to rule the cricket world with the money. Also I support BCCI as they are giving a damn to racial Australian and English cricketers. But joining to ICL for these bangladeshi crickers are not related to this. Shuvro, I deny that they are only playing cricket and not doing any sin. Patriotism is to be always ready to serve your country. After knowing this would restrict them to be considered for national team, they left for ICL. They'll tell "we are ready to play for BD, but BCB is not allowing", but all knows that it's an eyewasher. Definitely I would say - they had lack of commitment, otherwise they should have left national team and then think of contacting with ICL. They're playing against Australia, dreaming of how much money they'll make and gets out under 80. It seems to me that seniors had some ego problems with board who took the chance to show the board that they're wrong. Shame on them. We won't miss them

  • POSTED BY roneydaredevil on | September 18, 2008, 5:53 GMT

    Dear Shuvro da... The Likes OF Shane Bond or Lou Vincent or Abdul Razzaq joined the ICL in the primary stage when the BCCI didn't ban the ICL.They had no option really as the BCCI banned ICL after their signing.In fact,Bond or Razzaq could also play in the IPL & earn much more money .But ,when they joined ICL,there was even no talks of IPL.The bangladeshi cricketers knew everything.Bashar,Rafiq or Monju had really good reasons...nothing can justifies the act of Aftab,Alok & Nafees.In his day,Aftab can take on every bowler of the world,if he perfoms strongly for national side,he has every chance to play in the IPL.I am a big fan of Alok & he has rare elegance.Nafees is tallented too.If they perform regularly,no one can drop them from the national side.And good performence in the international arena can bring them the chance to play in the IPL.The main thing is they dont have that confidence to perform regularly in the int.arena.whether they perform or not,they can earn money from ICL...

  • POSTED BY AhmedNure on | September 18, 2008, 5:19 GMT

    If some one thinks about the IPL deeply then one must come with a though that "ICL&#8217;s strategy is to split each and every cricket team around the world". See in our subcontinent only India is not at all affected by the ICL. In ICL only C or D graded Indian players are taking part, but in Pakistan & Bangladesh the top graded players getting involved and destroying not only their career but also the country that they call as motherland. Ok the explanation Mr. Kapil Dev is providing that ICL gives life, money and securities then why can&#8217;t he involve either A graded or B graded Indian player. So I think the BCCI should take a tough action against all the masterminds and officials of ICL so that they don't dare to destroy the image of cricket. This should be done in no time for the sake of Cricket.

  • POSTED BY sarwoersubid on | September 18, 2008, 4:40 GMT

    Dear Mr. Utpal Shuvra: There is nothing to justify. it's the irony that being an weaker side in World cricket, our position is always at the receivig point. For this we need support from our neighbering country, especially from India. So, when BCCB didn't recognize ICL, it won't make sense that BCB would support the rebel cricketers. there is also no logic to find out the difference between ICL & IPL...So, what has happened has already happened. Lets wait for those days when BCCB would change their strategy, recognize ICL etc etc. But our players has resigns...so we have infact nothing to expect from them in this issue...

  • POSTED BY LemonFromMadaripur on | September 18, 2008, 4:14 GMT

    Dear Mr. Utpal Shuvra,

    You have quoted in your "More than money" column that,"Granted, the ICL is an easy way to make money: play three months a year for three years, and get paid huge amounts - it's a no-brainer. But didn't any of these youngsters consider the fact that the ICL was forbidden fruit, on tasting which they would immediately become international pariahs?" I feel wonder you mentioned ICL as a "forbidden fruit" seems to me the echo of BCCI, where as ICC or other cricket boards like West Indies, New Zealand, Sri Lanka did not forbidden ICL or the ICL players. Nobody should act like the associates of BCCI, the only one board which did not host Bangladesh Test Team and still did not have the future plan. BCCI is just playing racial game in cricket world and ICC is just observing and observing and giving them salute because of money. So, nothing is more than money.

  • POSTED BY crickethits.com on | September 18, 2008, 3:18 GMT

    There is a saying in Hindi by legendary poet TulsiDas, " Upon your arrival, if the receiver doesn't look happy, if the eyes don't lit up with affection, then Tulsi, Don't go to that place even if pure gold is raining down there from the sky."

    That's exactly what the "rebel" Bangladeshi Cricketers must have been feeling. Honor and self respect are bigger than any fame and public adulation. Who knows a few years the line BCCI might also face the same rebellion from its highest ranks. How long Gangulys and Amarnaths will tolerate insults if they have alternative cricket playing opportunities?

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | September 18, 2008, 1:21 GMT

    The mass exodus of the star players of the Bangladesh team is the right trigger for ICC to take notice. Bangladesh continue to remain minnows despite admission into the Test playing nations. Unlike Sri Lanka who have now become a respected force. With this exodus, and the reaction ban by the Bangladesh Cricket Board, Bangladesh is no better than Zimbabwe.Perhaps worse - no better than Canada,Holland,Bermuda.It is time ICC woke up,stood up for CRICKET, rather than as slaves to Lalit Modi. Just as in Soccer,the English Premier League,Italian Serie A, Spanish Liga,The French,German Club Leagues coexist, just as Inter Club and Inter League Transfers are permitted,while retaining the right to play for their respective countries, ICC should now lay down the new rules, and say that a cricketer is free to play in any League he chooses,AND retain the right to play for his country. This will ensure that Stanford's League,ICL,IPL, and any newly formed Leagues are recognized,and can coexist.

  • POSTED BY bidesh on | September 18, 2008, 1:19 GMT

    These are bunch of no good dudes who had their mind more into money than the love and pride to represent their country. When i was playing cricket in league in Dhaka it was for the love of cricket and to have a chance to be in the national side. At times we did not have lunch and sometimes no transportation yet there was no short of love and enthusiasm to play for the team.Now compare this to Sumon and the other winners, I think we were better. Please don't tell me these geese are better in technique and method than Nannu bhai, Lipu bhai, Nehal bhai and many more of that era. So my point is that we are better off without them cause they are no better than the ones we have in hand. But the new comers ought to be more prune to know the respect for the national side.Let's not blink, let's not fall, let's not be off-focus.At the end we would be better served with the ones we have.Go boys go.Go Bangladesh go.

  • POSTED BY anisuzzaman on | September 17, 2008, 20:20 GMT

    I believe, Utpal Shuvro has written this article trying to justify the exodus of the Bangladeshi cricketers. However, to me, nothing justifies their act. There always may be some disagreement about the selections. This is true for any team in any game. Could there be ever a team selected that everyone will be happy? Moreover, it seems from reading the article that the writer wants that the cricketers like Shahriar Nafees, Aftab Ahmed and all the others should have a free ticket to play all the matches in coming years! As if the performance should not matter at all. Then why the next generation would start playing cricket. One ridiculous argument he has given about Alok Kapali mentioning the comment of Sir Viv Richards. It doesn't justify that since once Viv commented good about Alok so he should always be picked. As I can remember that Alok was given numerous chances before being dropped 2-3 years before. Alok again was picked after doing good last season. What's Alok's form in Aus?

  • POSTED BY kingofspain on | September 17, 2008, 19:51 GMT

    The only silver lining is this may be an opportunity to give Bangladesh a "break" from top class cricket and spare the rest of us from the tedium of watching this group of never improving cricketers.

  • POSTED BY sp2_mcj on | September 17, 2008, 18:20 GMT

    No doubt Utpal Shuvro is an outastnading sports writer and its an wonderful article which brought out some facts but not entirely true indeed. BCB spent too much money to make the players. They might be abused mentally in dressing room or at the hands of BCB, selectors or coach. But is it not true that they never lay their hundred percent efforts while playing for the national team? Is it not true, the way Dhiman, Alok Kapali and Farhad Reza threw their wickets in the last match against Australia which we can win easily raise the eyebrow regarding their commitment for the country? Always the players chase behind the money and they just destroyed the money of the poor country where still 1 crore child go to sleep without a single plate of rice. It's simply shame that a famous reporter like Utpal Shuvro support this "traitors" despite having their illogical activities.

  • POSTED BY shakilakther01 on | September 17, 2008, 16:30 GMT

    Mr Suvro Can you ask your friend Mr Basher when was the last time he contributed? I am fan of Basher. But in our professional life each and every one is at least once or twice badly treated by our superior. We take it in the chin and go ahead to prove him wrong. If he feel so offended that Siddons called him an Oldie why he did not he asked Siddons how many test runs he had made. That would have been like a Man; Not take a flight and bad mouthing againest the team coach. Same goes for Nafees. After his heroics in 2006 he did not have a 30 against any top 8 and he claimed he deserved to be in the national team. What he think of himself or Bangladesh national team? He has a god given right to be in the national team. Alok Kapali scored a 82 and reside in the team for three years. Now after he scored a century and expect that he would be in the team for the next six years. Now comes to Aftab - who thinks scoring fifty in five matches is enough. Then we don't need this player.

  • POSTED BY NurAhmed on | September 17, 2008, 16:16 GMT

    Thanks Utpal Shuvro for such an wonderful article. Brought out some of the true facts. It's real painful to see stars like Aftab and Nafees are banned. The BCB board probably didn't have any choice either because they go by the ICC and ICC "does not like" ICL. :-) It's not easy for selectors to provide chances to the same player over and over. But they should also communicate in a lot better way so that the player can work hard on his lack. 'damn care' attitude by the board is not a healthy exercise. A good talk can inspire a player so good that he can come back stronger. Just because you have academy's young players available, the seniors are not to be ignored. They are the one to lead the young guns and handle the pressure. You bring in young players in the international arena and set them on their own from day 1, what do you expect from them? Winning every game? Not a chance. That's exactly what's been happening. Consistency is the real skill and that can happen by the seniors.

  • POSTED BY kalyanbk on | September 17, 2008, 16:14 GMT

    Let's take Akash Chopra for example who recently scored another big 100 for Delhi against SUI gas when Delhi was in big trouble. Players like him who have scored consistently in domestic cricket are continued to be ignored by selectors. Would you in this situation take up an offer from the ICL to play 3 months a year for $200,000 and maybe pursue an MBA in the meantime or do you stay in domestic cricket hoping and praying some selector has pity on you? Do you think playing in meaningless matches which are nothing but money spinners for the boards who don't hesitate in grinding a player to the dust for profit is the same as representing the nation in the Olympics?

  • POSTED BY larrythegun on | September 17, 2008, 15:05 GMT

    The question what people should be asking is what are they ICC going to do to deal with the IPL ICL situation? No team in the world can afford to lose up to 14 of its top players, let alone a team that has limited ability anyway. And if national boards attempt to restrict a cricketer's right to seek employment we are going to have more situations like this. The integrity of international will come in question. Already, New Zealand has lost its best bowler since Sir Richard Haddle because of politics. It is heading towards the courts.

  • POSTED BY CbeCricket on | September 17, 2008, 14:00 GMT

    Well now it is the right time for the BCCI to get its act together and recognize ICL. There will be more talented cricketers in future go the way the others have done by joining ICL. Wake up BCCI and stop ruining the cricket.

  • POSTED BY BapiDas on | September 17, 2008, 12:44 GMT

    A wonderfully composed article indeed. I can understand, but definitely not support, BCCI's position of declaring ICL a 'banned' event. However, it is a shame that the other boards also started to ban players participating in the ICL Both the IPL and the ICL are 'domestic' competitions and I see no justifiable reason why any Board should stop their players from participating in either, unless their services to the national team would be hampered because the timing of these events taking place could clash wit the national team's fixture. BCCI and all the Boards should be taken to the International Court of Justice for preventing professional cricketers from engaging in games of cricket which is their source of financial income. Preventing anyone from pursuing a profession can not be an acceptable proposition.

  • POSTED BY Razi_BC on | September 17, 2008, 11:48 GMT

    An excellent piece of writing by Utpal Shuvro. Really, he summarized the whole situation that has happened in the last few days. What's happened has happened, lets wish all the best to the players who joined ICL and lets hope Bangladesh team can quickly recover the loss that those players made while leaving the team.

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  • POSTED BY Razi_BC on | September 17, 2008, 11:48 GMT

    An excellent piece of writing by Utpal Shuvro. Really, he summarized the whole situation that has happened in the last few days. What's happened has happened, lets wish all the best to the players who joined ICL and lets hope Bangladesh team can quickly recover the loss that those players made while leaving the team.

  • POSTED BY BapiDas on | September 17, 2008, 12:44 GMT

    A wonderfully composed article indeed. I can understand, but definitely not support, BCCI's position of declaring ICL a 'banned' event. However, it is a shame that the other boards also started to ban players participating in the ICL Both the IPL and the ICL are 'domestic' competitions and I see no justifiable reason why any Board should stop their players from participating in either, unless their services to the national team would be hampered because the timing of these events taking place could clash wit the national team's fixture. BCCI and all the Boards should be taken to the International Court of Justice for preventing professional cricketers from engaging in games of cricket which is their source of financial income. Preventing anyone from pursuing a profession can not be an acceptable proposition.

  • POSTED BY CbeCricket on | September 17, 2008, 14:00 GMT

    Well now it is the right time for the BCCI to get its act together and recognize ICL. There will be more talented cricketers in future go the way the others have done by joining ICL. Wake up BCCI and stop ruining the cricket.

  • POSTED BY larrythegun on | September 17, 2008, 15:05 GMT

    The question what people should be asking is what are they ICC going to do to deal with the IPL ICL situation? No team in the world can afford to lose up to 14 of its top players, let alone a team that has limited ability anyway. And if national boards attempt to restrict a cricketer's right to seek employment we are going to have more situations like this. The integrity of international will come in question. Already, New Zealand has lost its best bowler since Sir Richard Haddle because of politics. It is heading towards the courts.

  • POSTED BY kalyanbk on | September 17, 2008, 16:14 GMT

    Let's take Akash Chopra for example who recently scored another big 100 for Delhi against SUI gas when Delhi was in big trouble. Players like him who have scored consistently in domestic cricket are continued to be ignored by selectors. Would you in this situation take up an offer from the ICL to play 3 months a year for $200,000 and maybe pursue an MBA in the meantime or do you stay in domestic cricket hoping and praying some selector has pity on you? Do you think playing in meaningless matches which are nothing but money spinners for the boards who don't hesitate in grinding a player to the dust for profit is the same as representing the nation in the Olympics?

  • POSTED BY NurAhmed on | September 17, 2008, 16:16 GMT

    Thanks Utpal Shuvro for such an wonderful article. Brought out some of the true facts. It's real painful to see stars like Aftab and Nafees are banned. The BCB board probably didn't have any choice either because they go by the ICC and ICC "does not like" ICL. :-) It's not easy for selectors to provide chances to the same player over and over. But they should also communicate in a lot better way so that the player can work hard on his lack. 'damn care' attitude by the board is not a healthy exercise. A good talk can inspire a player so good that he can come back stronger. Just because you have academy's young players available, the seniors are not to be ignored. They are the one to lead the young guns and handle the pressure. You bring in young players in the international arena and set them on their own from day 1, what do you expect from them? Winning every game? Not a chance. That's exactly what's been happening. Consistency is the real skill and that can happen by the seniors.

  • POSTED BY shakilakther01 on | September 17, 2008, 16:30 GMT

    Mr Suvro Can you ask your friend Mr Basher when was the last time he contributed? I am fan of Basher. But in our professional life each and every one is at least once or twice badly treated by our superior. We take it in the chin and go ahead to prove him wrong. If he feel so offended that Siddons called him an Oldie why he did not he asked Siddons how many test runs he had made. That would have been like a Man; Not take a flight and bad mouthing againest the team coach. Same goes for Nafees. After his heroics in 2006 he did not have a 30 against any top 8 and he claimed he deserved to be in the national team. What he think of himself or Bangladesh national team? He has a god given right to be in the national team. Alok Kapali scored a 82 and reside in the team for three years. Now after he scored a century and expect that he would be in the team for the next six years. Now comes to Aftab - who thinks scoring fifty in five matches is enough. Then we don't need this player.

  • POSTED BY sp2_mcj on | September 17, 2008, 18:20 GMT

    No doubt Utpal Shuvro is an outastnading sports writer and its an wonderful article which brought out some facts but not entirely true indeed. BCB spent too much money to make the players. They might be abused mentally in dressing room or at the hands of BCB, selectors or coach. But is it not true that they never lay their hundred percent efforts while playing for the national team? Is it not true, the way Dhiman, Alok Kapali and Farhad Reza threw their wickets in the last match against Australia which we can win easily raise the eyebrow regarding their commitment for the country? Always the players chase behind the money and they just destroyed the money of the poor country where still 1 crore child go to sleep without a single plate of rice. It's simply shame that a famous reporter like Utpal Shuvro support this "traitors" despite having their illogical activities.

  • POSTED BY kingofspain on | September 17, 2008, 19:51 GMT

    The only silver lining is this may be an opportunity to give Bangladesh a "break" from top class cricket and spare the rest of us from the tedium of watching this group of never improving cricketers.

  • POSTED BY anisuzzaman on | September 17, 2008, 20:20 GMT

    I believe, Utpal Shuvro has written this article trying to justify the exodus of the Bangladeshi cricketers. However, to me, nothing justifies their act. There always may be some disagreement about the selections. This is true for any team in any game. Could there be ever a team selected that everyone will be happy? Moreover, it seems from reading the article that the writer wants that the cricketers like Shahriar Nafees, Aftab Ahmed and all the others should have a free ticket to play all the matches in coming years! As if the performance should not matter at all. Then why the next generation would start playing cricket. One ridiculous argument he has given about Alok Kapali mentioning the comment of Sir Viv Richards. It doesn't justify that since once Viv commented good about Alok so he should always be picked. As I can remember that Alok was given numerous chances before being dropped 2-3 years before. Alok again was picked after doing good last season. What's Alok's form in Aus?