The payment row in the Bangladesh Premier League has nearly caused a major embarrassment for the Bangladesh Cricket Board on Friday when seven foreign cricketers of Duronto Rajshahi refused to take to the field for non-payment of their dues.
After a lot of drama behind the scenes, they finally played the game against Khulna Royal Bengals, but not before the BCB officials made some serious efforts to convince them about the payment.
Despite their best efforts, the BCB, however, could not suppress the drama unfolding in the Duronto dressing room as the toss was delayed for several minutes and instead of the first-choice captain, Chamara Kapugedera went out for it.
‘Actually the foreign players, the seven of us, we were waiting for some sort of confirmation about our initial 25 per cent money that we were (supposed) to be paid,’ Kapugedera later told reporters at the post-match press conference.
‘We would (have) sat out the game because most of the foreign guys played all these games without being paid.
‘All the nine games we played, it was due our respect for the BCB and the franchise. We need to give them a point that we would not play if we are not paid,’ he said.
‘We had a couple of meetings with the owners and the chairman of the BPL and we had told them that if we are not paid or don’t get any confirmation, we will not play.
‘It has nothing to do with the local players. The decision was taken by the foreign players, including me,’ said Kapugedera.
‘We haven’t got the money yet. The transactions were made and that’s what we have been told and hopefully we will get the money by next Monday.
‘Twenty minutes before the start of the game we got the confirmation and we decided to play,’ he said.
The incident happened a day after Duronto Rajshahi confirmed officially that they have paid not just 25 per cent, but 50 per cent of the players’ money to BCB.
Asked why this happened despite them making the payment, Duronto’s spokesman Ahmed Raqib told reporters that they gave the BCB the pay order for the initial 25 per cent on February 5 and the other 25 per cent on Thursday.
BPL governing council secretary Ismail Haider Mallick contradicted the claim saying that they have received only 25 per cent money from the franchise and after some formalities with the Bangladesh Bank it would be deposited to the players’ accounts soon.
‘We have told the players not to be worried as the BCB is the guarantor. Under any circumstances they will get their money. However, it took us a lot of hard work to convince them today,’ he said.
This was the third instance the BPL faced a similar boycott threat from the players. Earlier in Chittagong, the Dhaka Gladiators cricketers had also threatened to sit out a match while the Sylhet Royals’ players also made a similar threat this week.
Kapugedera, however, saw no bitterness after leading Duronto’s foreign players in such a revolt.
‘These kinds of things happen and I can understand their part as they had excuses,’ he said. ‘From our part we had fair reasons to do these things. In the end it is all part of the game and we have to forget it and look forward.’
-With New Age input