Federation of International Cricketers Association (FICA) on Tuesday extended its support to the striking Bangladesh players and said it would review the membership of the Cricketers’ Welfare Association of Bangladesh (CWAB) for not fulfilling its role.
‘FICA commends the players in Bangladesh for their unity and for taking a stand together in order to secure fair conditions applicable to them as professional cricketers,’ FICA executive chairman Tony Irish said in a statement.‘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 added.
Members of Bangladesh national cricket team and dozens of first-class cricketers announced a boycott of all national and international cricket unless their 11-point demand was met.
The demands include respect from the Bangladesh Cricket Board members, restoration of the previous pay structure in Dhaka Premier League, a promise for returning to franchise-based Bangladesh Premier League from the next season, at least Tk 1 lakh match fees for the National Cricket League, at least 30 players in national payroll and 50 per cent rise in the salary of first-class players.
‘It is also clear to us that the players in Bangladesh don’t feel heard or respected in relation to important issues that affect them in their careers and that affect their livelihoods,’ said FICA chief Irish.
The FICA chief also criticised CWAB for not fulfilling its role at a very critical time for the players and the dual role of its office bearers.
‘It is the role of a players’ association to be the voice, and collective representative, of the players, and it is a matter of concern to us that the Cricketers’ Welfare Association of Bangladesh does not appear to be fulfilling this role at a very critical time for the players,’ he said.‘It is of further concern that it appears that office bearers of CWAB hold positions with the Bangladesh Cricket Board.’
‘Given the collective nature of the issues we believe that it’s important for FICA to offer its support and assistance to the players during this time,’ he said.
One of the key demands of the players was the resignation of CWAB officials.
CWAB president Naimur Rahman at a press conference on Tuesday said they will not resign but offered a new election.
‘They weren’t satisfied with our efforts; maybe that’s why they asked for our resignation. But we can’t resign just because they want us to. There are certain processes,’ said Naimur, who hold the position of CWAB for 10 years.
‘This is an organisation and there are certain bylaws. The players created this organisation and it will continue functioning in the future,’ added Naimur.
Irish added that at FICA’s Annual Meeting held in London earlier this month the FICA board discussed and approved amendments to FICA’s membership and minimum standards framework.
‘It was resolved that the new framework should focus on ensuring that member players’ associations are both genuinely representative of current players and clearly independent from relevant governing bodies.
‘In a follow up to these changes, FICA intends to review CWAB’s current membership of FICA,’ he said.