Shakib Al Hasan had led the strike which was was called over pay and benefits. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Bangladesh's players, led by Shakib Al Hasan, have finally called off the strike paving the way for the team to tour India for three Twenty20 Internationals and two Tests beginning on November 3. The strike was called over pay and benefits and it was over after getting assurance from the country's board that all their demands will be met. The deadlock between the players and Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) ended after a two-hour long meeting which went on close to midnight on Wednesday. Shakib attended the meeting alongside other senior players including Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah and Tamim Iqbal. The players added two more demands to the 11 made on Monday, asking for a percentage of BCB revenues and equal pay for women cricketers. BCB president Nazmul Hassan did not commit anything on the two latest demands but said the original 11 will be fulfilled. Players had also demanded fresh elections in the players' body and BCB agreed to that.
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, Shakib said the meeting was fruitful. "As Papon bhai (BCB boss Nazmul Hassan) said, it was a fruitful discussion. He and the rest of the directors assured us that our demands will be met as soon as possible. Based on their assurance, we will start playing the NCL and attend the training camp," Shakib said.
The strike was apparently triggered by the decision on the Bangladesh Premier League, which reduced the average professional cricketer's earning. Players' woes were furthered after the Bangladesh Cricket Board didn't raise the match fees in the first-class competition. The major demands of the players was the Dhaka Premier League, which is considered as the premier tournament in domestic cricket, should not have a salary cap. The Bangladesh Cricket Board had stated that the Bangladesh Premier League would be not be franchise-based after a fall-out with the franchises earlier in September.
On Tuesday night, the Bangladesh Cricket Board agreed to one of the key demands of the players - to bring back the Dhaka Premier League's club transfer system - following a meeting of the Dhaka league committee. The players' other main demands were: Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) must go back to franchise model, central contract salary should be higher, and include more players, higher first class match fees and players' association to no longer have conflict of interest.