BCB tough on boycott threat

The Cricketers’ Welfare Association of Bangladesh is adamant about boycotting the ensuing National Cricket League unless its demands for increased match fees are met but the Bangladesh Cricket Board has refused to bow down.
The BCB has taken a hard line and asked the players to join their respective divisional teams by today or face a severe punishment. The BCB also called an emergency meeting to discuss the issue on December 31.
In a statement issued late on Tuesday the BCB said if any player fails to report within the stipulated time it will be deemed he is creating a problem for the progress of Bangladesh cricket.
‘The Board believes that the sudden boycott threat at the instigation of vested quarters is a great impediment to the progress of Bangladesh cricket,’ said the BCB statement.
‘When the present government and the BCB are carrying out many activities to host the World Cup 2011, we believe the boycott threat will tarnish the image of the country at that time,’ added the statement.
Gazi Ashraf Hossain, chairman of the tournament committee, told New Age if the players obey the notice they will consider a few things at the emergency meeting, otherwise they will come up with harsh decisions.
A BCB official preferring to be unnamed said the rigid positions by both parties may end up with the cancellation of the tournament, the lone first-class competition, scheduled to start on January 1.
Just before the beginning of the tournament, the CWAB threatened to boycott it unless the BCB raises the match fees for a four-day match to Tk 35,000, for one-day match Tk 20,000 and for Twenty20 match Tk 10,000.
The CWAB officials dismissed the claim that they have raised the issue belatedly and are trying to blackmail the BCB at the eleventh hour. ‘We have informed them the matter several months ago, but they did not pay any attention to us,’ CAWB general secretary Debobrata Paul said.
Debobrata showed the reporters the documents which indicated that they had first intimated the BCB at least six months ago. On July 23, they sent separate letters to the chairman of the tournament committee and the chairman of the cricket operations committee.
The CWAB officials said they wanted a dialogue with the BCB again on October 13 through two separate letters to the chairmen of the cricket operations committee and the game development commitee. A third letter was sent to the BCB president AHM Mustafa Kamal on December 13.
Meanwhile, responding to the boycott call of CWAB the Barisal division team returned to Dhaka from Bogra where there are schedule to take on Chittagong in their opening match from January 1.
Only four players – Shamsur Rahman, Emon Ahmed, Shubhagata Hom and Rakibul Hasan – turned up for practice with the Dhaka team on Tuesday at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium.
‘We had no choice but to call off the training after only four players reported,’ said Dhaka manager Ali Hossain.

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