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Bangladesh players strike puts India tour in jeopardy
Players Demand Pay Hike

Bangladesh players strike puts India tour in jeopardy

Bangladesh's cricketers have gone on strike until their demands are met by the country's cricket board, putting next month's tour of India in doubt.

The protest, headed by Test and T20 captain Shakib Al Hasan, is aimed at improving the pay and benefits for players.

The strike has been initiated days after Bangladesh Cricket Board announced the T20 squad for three-match series scheduled to commence on November 3.

"Unless our demands are met we will not get involved in any cricketing activities," Shakib told reporters in Dhaka after calling an emergency press conference.

"It includes everything –- first-class cricket, national team preparations, (and) international cricket," he added.

Shakib was joined by several former and current players including star batsman Mahmudullah.

Weeks of increasing tensions between players and the board culminated in this drastic step taken by the cricketers.

There had been growing criticism directed at BCB for not fairly sharing revenue generated by those who contribute most to the game.

One of the 11 demands presented by the players is the return to a franchise-based Bangladesh Premier League following the board's dispute with team owners.

The decision taken by BCB to strip the league of any franchises sounded alarm bells for players who feared pay cuts.

The cricketers also want a significant pay hike of around 300% per match and the expansion of national pay contracts to involve greater number of individuals.

This demand extends to local players and coaches, who Shakib demanded needed to be paid equal to their foreign counterparts.

The left-handed all-rounder said such changes would create "a good environment for the new generation so that Bangladesh cricket can move forward".

He asked for quality training facilities to match international standards and urged better benefits for groundsmen.

BCB chief executive officer Nizamuddin Chowdhury said they would be holding a meeting soon to discuss the demands and reach a solution to this burgeoning crisis.

"The players are very important for us. They also made demands in the past and we always try to accommodate their demands," he told AFP.