Following the end of Chittagong Vikings’ BPL game against Sylhet Superstars, Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal launched a scathing attack against a ‘franchisee official’ whom he accused of insulting his parents prior to the game.
There was plenty of drama prior to the start of the BPL’s day fixture. The match was delayed because the foreign players that Sylhet wanted to include in the game did not have no-objection certificates from their home-boards.
As a result, the Bangladesh Premier League’s technical committee decided to bend the rules a bit and allowed Sylhet to play the match with two foreign players.
As per the rules of the BPL a team has to field four foreign players in every match.
However, as per the playing conditions, the BPL’s technical committee has the right ‘edit or delete’ a rule if it feels necessary. And the technical committee later said that they changed the rule in order to prevent a walkover which could ‘tarnish the image’ of the competition.
After the ruling, the team lists were exchanged by the two captains and the toss took place at 1:55 pm.
However, when the match began, Sylhet in a surprising move fielded four foreign players including the men in question—Joshua Cobb and Ravi Bopara.
As a result, Tamim protested and went off the field. What ensued next was a nearly hour-long discussion between the players, franchisee officials and members of the BPL’s technical committee.
Tamim was seen talking a senior Sylhet Superstars official near the grandstand that had quite a few spectators in. To everyone’s surprise, minutes later the left-hander seemingly lost his cool and briskly walked back to the dressing room.
According to Tamim, the ‘particular individual’ in question was trying to convince him to allow Sylhet to play with all the four foreign players.
According to the playing conditions, a team can only be changed after toss if the opposing captain gives his permission.
The national opener seemed disgusted at the some of the remarks that were reportedly made against him.
“The one thing I want to say is that people need to respect national cricketers. People have money but that doesn’t mean they will treat a national cricketer like a beggar. People need to start respecting us,” Tamim told reporters in the post-match press conference later in the evening.
“We are here to play cricket, I haven’t come here to hear insults about my parents or my family. And I was so nice to that individual, I even called him sir. He asked me to stand up and talk to him and I did that.
“Then he said a really bad thing about my family, which was very insulting.
These franchisees may have a lot of money, but there is a 1000 times more money in the IPL. I might not have played in the IPL but I was in the squad. I know how they treat players,” he added.
Tamim refused to name the individual during the press conference but said, “ I think you all know what I am talking about.”
The match which, Sylhet eventually played with two foreign players began at 3:10 pm, one hour and ten minutes after the scheduled start.
BPL technical committee convener, Jalal Yunus admitted that Sylhet had committed a ‘mistake’ when they decided to change the team line-up after the toss and include four foreign players in the side.
When contacted, Sylhet Super Stars owner Azimul Haque denied the allegation, and said nobody insulted Tamim Iqbal today.