Bangladesh’s one-day international skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza on Monday said that he was unaware about the initiative of the cricketers of boycotting all cricket-related activities unless their 11 demands are met.
Mashrafee was absent during an unprecedented press conference attended by Bangladesh national team cricketers and first-class players in Mirpur, triggering some speculations about his role in the whole affair.
Mashrafee defended himself by saying that he had no idea about the movement and only came to know about it by seeing the press conference.
‘Many people asked why I was not present on such a day of our cricket. I think without asking it to me, it should be asked to them [the other players]. I was not aware of this move at all,’ he wrote on his official Facebook page late on Monday.
‘Certainly the matter was discussed for few days. But I had no idea about it. I could know it by seeing the press conference.
‘I previously stood beside the cricketers on any of their demand and am still on it. One question came to my mind – why I was not informed about it. Many wanted to know this from me, but I don’t know why I was informed, he added.
Mashrafee, however, expressed his solidarity towards the 11-point demand made by the cricketers and promised to stand for it.
‘I think that fulfilling the 11-point demand is more essential than whether I was present there or not. Every demand is essential for the welfare of cricket and cricketers,’ he said.
‘I, Mashrafee bin Murtaza, am standing for the implementation of the 11-point demand and will remain stand for it,’ he added.
Bangladeshi cricketers earlier went on an unprecedented strike to press home their 11-point demand.
The demands include respect from the Bangladesh Cricket Board members, restoration of the previous pay structure in Dhaka Premier League, a promise for returning to franchise-based Bangladesh Premier League from the next season, at least Tk one lakh match fees for the National Cricket League, at least 30 players in national payroll and 50 per cent rise in the salary of first-class players.