Bangladesh Cricket Board [BCB] has termed FICA's [Federation of International Cricketers' Associations] claims regarding the handling of franchisee event contracts and payment of players from ICC events misleading and misinformed.
In a report titled 'Men's Global Employment Report 2020', FICA listed the Bangladesh Premier League T20 (BPL) as one of the sanctioned leagues and the only league among the ICC's Test-playing nations where the issue of late payment or non-payment continues.
Since the start of the BPL in 2012, the first few editions of the cash-rich T20 tournament were marred with irregular payments. The BPL also endured match-fixing and spot-fixing scandals in its initial stage, but the franchise-based tournament seemed to have come a long way in terms of ensuring payment to players and support staff in the latter editions, until the FICA report revealed recent irregularities.
In a statement yesterday reacting to the claims made by FICA on BPL payments, BCB said, "BCB would like to clearly state that the only unresolved/disputed payment from the BPL concerns four (04) persons -- three overseas players and a coach, of one particular team that had participated in the 6th edition of the BPL held in 2018. This is an isolated case in a tournament where more than 170 local and overseas players and support staff were contracted.
"Between January and April 2020, the BCB received complaints from the representative(s) of the players and coach that the franchisee in question had failed to comply with its obligations and did not complete payment. As per the franchisee agreement it was the responsibility of the franchisee to directly pay in full its contracted players and support staff.
"Nevertheless, as the regulatory body of the event the BCB had duly inquired the matter and subsequently has initiated legal proceedings against the accused franchisee to realise the pending payment and resolve the issue. It should be noted that the Board has kept constant contact with the concerned individuals and representative(s) who are fully aware of the steps taken by the BCB."
According to sources all three players and the coach mentioned by the BCB had participated for Sylhet Sixers in the 2018 edition. It was learned that the three overseas cricketers were West Indian cricketer Nicholas Pooran, Pakistani pace bowler Sohail Tanvir, Gulabdin Naib from Afghanistan and the coach is former Pakistan pace legend Waqar Younis.
"Initially, there were issues over irregularities in players' payment in the BPL and I heard a few local and foreign cricketers were anxious about their payments. But it has changed over the years -- there might be one or two cases of payment irregularity. Personally, I have never faced such a situation in the BPL as I have been playing the tournament since the beginning," said an experienced domestic cricketer who preferred not to be named.
The FICA report also mentioned that Bangladesh national players are still owed their ICC event prize money, which the BCB claimed as a 'misrepresentation of facts'.
"The board has completed prize money payments to players from all previous ICC events including the last, which was the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales. It may be mentioned that the BCB has maintained a standard by which players on a number of occasions have received additional incentives from the Board on top of the prize money from ICC events during distribution," said the BCB statement.