Corruption claim deepens Bangladesh cricket crisis after strike

Bangladesh cricket, player's strike, Bangladesh tour of India, corruption, Shakib Al Hasan
The strike comes amid growing criticism of the BCB from cricketers who say the governing body is not sharing enough of its growing wealth. The boycott threatens the upcoming tou of India too. Photo: PTI

Former Bangladesh cricket chief on Tuesday (October 22) added another angle to the ongoing strike by Bangladesh cricketers saying that widespread match-fixing in the country has deepened the crisis for players over wages.

Former Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Saber Hossain Chowdhury, a British-educated lawyer, businessman and now member of parliament, said corruption was deep-rooted at the governing body.

“@BCBtigers is only national sporting body in the world that promotes institutionalised #matchfixing, #corruption,” he said on his Twitter account, adding: “Unbelievable!!” “Flagged this issue many times myself,” he said.

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The country’s national cricket team’s captain Shakib Al Hasan raised concerns about corruption in domestic cricket on Monday (October 21) while announcing that most the squad’s professional players have started a strike for better pay and benefits.

The boycott threatens the upcoming Bangladesh tour of India starting November 3.

“We all know the sorry state of our first, second and third division cricket,” Shakib said.

“A lot of the times we know which team will win and which team will lose before the match starts.”

Also read: Bangladesh cricketers announce strike, tour of India doubtful

The strike comes amid growing criticism of the BCB from cricketers who say the governing body is not sharing enough of its growing wealth.

Local cricketers want Bangladesh players and coaches to be paid more in line with foreign hires.

They have demanded a 50 percent pay hike for first-class players, the expansion of national pay contracts, increased match fees in domestic games and better benefits for support staff.

Allegations of match-fixing and corruption in Bangladesh cricket are not new, and in 2014 the entire Bangladesh Premier League T20 contest was suspended under a graft cloud.

In another notorious case in 2017, authorities banned a bowler for 10 years after he delivered a succession of wides and no-balls to concede 92 runs to deliberately lose a match in what his team called a protest against biased umpiring.

That Dhaka League Second Division game raised suspicions after a Lalmatia bowler sent down 13 wides and three no-balls in the first over — all of which raced to the boundary — costing his side 80 runs.

Lalmatia had earlier been dismissed for just 88 off 14 overs before opponents Axiom reached 92-0 off just four legal deliveries.

(With inputs from agencies)

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