October 23, 2019 / 7:43 PM / a month ago

Bangladesh cricketers end strike as board accepts pay rise

DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh’s cricketers on Wednesday called off their strike as the country’s cricket board accepted most of the demands, including a pay increase and other benefits.

The country’s top players led by Twenty20 skipper Shakib Al Hasan went on strike on Monday demanding better pay and conditions, putting the side’s planned tour of India from Nov. 3 in jeopardy.

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has agreed with most of the demands placed by the players, board president Nazmul Hasan told reporters after a meeting on Wednesday night.

“We are joining the camp on Friday. The board has assured us that our demands will be fulfilled,” Shakib Al Hasan told reporters.

Earlier on Wednesday, they players demanded a fair share of BCB’s revenue and better pay for female cricketers in addition to their previous demands.

As well as hefty pay increases, players in the cricket-mad Asian country demanded a return to a franchise-based model in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) and the resignation of the present committee of the country’s Cricketers Welfare Association.

The players also demanded settlement of dues from the BPL and the removal of the restriction on cricketers playing in more than two franchise leagues.

The boycott had affected the ongoing National Cricket League, Bangladesh’s first class cricket competition, and the national training camp ahead of the tour in India.

The tour includes three Twenty20 internationals and two test matches. Bangladesh announced a 15-man T20 squad last week with Shakib set to lead the side.

The board lashed out at the players who hatched a “conspiracy” to destabilise the game in the country by striking, while an international federation of players’ associations came out in support of the action on Tuesday.

BCB President Hassan said on Tuesday the board was open to discussions but criticised the players and vowed to try to find out who instigated the strike.

Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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