While announcing their strike on Monday Bangladesh’s national and first-class players wanted respect from the Bangladesh Cricket Board and what they got was the opposite.
BCB president Nazmul Hasan in his first formal reaction to the development came down heavily on the players on Tuesday, accusing them of playing a part in a conspiracy.
Nazmul, who looked fuming several times in BCB’s post-emergency meeting press conference, not just ended up branding some players as conspirators, but also revealed personal favours he had done for them.
The BCB president said how he had helped the father of Mushfiqur Rahim, aunt of Mehedi Hasan by solving their personal issues and helped Imrul Kayes get quick visa for his sick baby.
Nazmul also revealed that the Board paid cricketers Tk 24 crores as performance bonuses, without mentioning the duration (2013-2019) and the fact that the players actually earned it.
The BCB president was also oblivious to the fact that a large chunk of those bonuses came from the fund of International Cricket Council, which made it mandatory for the participants in its different tournaments to share a percentage of their earnings with players.
Nazmul claimed that he had fulfilled many demands of the players already and said he could have also fulfilled their remaining demands if they had gone to him first instead of going to media.
The players’ action clearly hurt his ego to such an extent that he was heedless about finding a solution to the problem.
His press conference, which lasted for more than an hour, was full of rage and rhetoric but devoid of any direction, unbecoming of his stature as BCB president.
It was, therefore, not surprising to get criticised by one of his strong critics and a former BCB president Saber Hossain Chowdhury.
Saber in a tweet in the morning accused Nazmul’s BCB of ‘institutionalised match-fixing’ and after his press conference in the afternoon termed the BCB president’s approach in the whole affair as ‘ immature’.
‘This is an ego problem. It’s like I am the king and all people have to come to me to solve any problem,’ Saber told a private television in his reaction to the press conference of the BCB president.
‘I think this is an immature approach. The whole cricket will be stopped because of them [players] not coming to the board? I don’t think it is believable,’ he said.
‘What I truly believe that it is a conflict of interest. The clubs are given more priority in the latest structuralism of BCB... so everyone in BCB is trying to take care of the interests of the clubs,’ he said.
Senior coach Nazmul Abedin Fahim, who left his BCB job only in October, also found similarities between BCB president’s behaviour with some club officials, who often hold authority over players because of their personal investment.
‘BCB is not a club and the national cricket team is not a club team. The sooner we realise this, the better!!!’ Fahim said in a Facebook post.
‘Cricket is our identity. Cricketers who represent the country; male or female, junior or senior, are our true ambassadors. It’s for them we are respected around the world. Value them, respect them!’ he added in a separate post.
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