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'A conspiracy to destabilise cricket' - BCB chief criticises players strike
Bangladesh Cricket Crisis

'A conspiracy to destabilise cricket' - BCB chief criticises players strike

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan has escalated the prevailing tensions between the country's sporting body and the players protesting over increment in salaries by dismissing the ongoing strike as a 'conspiracy'.

Leading Bangladesh players including Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad and Tamim Iqbal have boycotted all cricket activities till their 11-point charter of demands is met by the BCB.

These demands address various concerns ranging from a significant pay hike for first-class cricketers, expansion of national pay contracts and better salaries for groundskeepers.

The players also want a return to a franchise-based model of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), fearing that the current system would result in pay cuts.

Also Read: Bangladesh players strike puts India tour in jeopardy

But Hassan has reacted to the unprecedented players' strike by accusing it of tarnishing the image of Bangladesh cricket.

"I don't believe they are doing it for money. There may be some other reasons, part of a plan, a conspiracy to destabilise cricket," he told reporters on Tuesday.

The BCB chief criticised the timing of the revolt, which has put the future of the upcoming India tour in doubt.

"The basic objective of this strike is to spoil the camp and India tour, some outsiders are working on this," he added.

Bangladesh are expected to play three T20Is and two Tests against India next month, with the 15-member squad having already been announced for the white-ball fixtures.

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly recently dispelled doubts over the tour and said the series would go ahead as planned.

FICA head backs players protest

The Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) extended support to the players amidst the deepening cricket crisis.

The organisation's executive chairman Tony Irish praised the cricketers "for taking a stand together in order to secure fair conditions".

"This has happened despite the challenging environment for players to collectivize in Bangladesh and it is a clear indication of the need for change in the way players are treated in what we regard as an important cricket country," he claimed in a statement.

Irish also noted the shortcoming of the Cricketers' Welfare Association of Bangladesh to represent the players fairly.

One of the demands involves the immediate resignation of CWAB leadership, which the players complain is overly skewed towards protecting BCB's interests.