A positive vibe prevailed from the morning yesterday with indications that a resolution regarding the national cricketers’ strike that started on Monday would be reached by the end of the day and such was the case -- with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) agreeing to nine of the 11 initial demands but not before 11:00pm.
The cricketers had put forth an updated list of demands, adding two more to their previously announced 11 points, when they held a press conference after discussing amongst themselves at a city hotel earlier in the evening.
Although the BCB agreed to meet most demands and discuss new demands in the future, the cricketers came out of the boardroom with gloomy faces. Although none of them spoke to the media officially, the anxiety on their faces was quite visible.
Bangladesh T20I and Test skipper Shakib Al Hasan stated that the players’ happiness with the resolution could only be gauged when the changes were implemented.
“Most of our demands were heard by everyone here, including the president, and they agreed to meet them as soon as possible. Only all the players can say whether we are happy. Once those things are implemented, we can accurately say how happy we are,” Shakib said after the meeting.
The all-rounder also mentioned that national players would start camp from October 25 ahead of their India tour next month while the third round of the National Cricket League (NCL) would begin on October 26.
Asked about the number one item on their list of demands, the lack of respect from members of Cricketers’ Welfare Association of Bangladesh (CWAB) which led to a demand to replace its president, Naimur Rahman, through elections, Shakib said: “Honestly, we spoke about that. We do not know the names of the rules or regulations even but we asked to hold the elections as soon as possible. We asked that the players have a representative to hear the issues of the players. We will do that when we have time, maybe after the NCL.”
When asked about the two new demands, Shakib said the board did not entertain them yet as it did not get a chance to discuss those items internally.
“As the new demands were made today, they did not get a chance to discuss them. But when we sit again, they will bring those to the table.” concluded Shakib.
However, after the meeting with the BCB, Shakib sat with the players again saying afterwards that the players will remain united and may take action again if the demands are not fulfilled.
BCB officials were not able to reach or contact any of the national cricketers since their announcement of the strike after putting forth an 11-point demand on Monday evening.
However, BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury informed yesterday that he had been able to contact Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal on Tuesday evening and that the left-handed opener said he would have to sit with other players before coming to a decision.
Yesterday morning, BCB President Nazmul and CWAB President Naimur met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to discuss, and try to put and an end to, the strike ahead of the national team’s tour of India next month and the third round of the NCL from Thursday.
After Hassan and Naimur returned to the BCB offices in Mirpur from Gono Bhaban, waiting for the players’ response, the national players gathered at a hotel in Gulshan to discuss amongst themselves before meeting with board officials.