Unpaid cricketers may skip Bangla T20 league

FICA will advise players to skip future editions of the BPL over outstanding payments.

Cricket ball. Picture: Sxc.hu.

BANGKOK - The Federation of International Cricketers' Association (FICA) will advise players to skip future editions of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) over outstanding payments, the cricketers' body said on Wednesday.

The inaugural franchise-based Twenty20 tournament in Bangladesh was held in February and attracted top international cricketers, including former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi and flamboyant West Indies opener Chris Gayle.

According to a FICA statement, at least 12 overseas players were yet to receive their full payments amounting to over $600,000.

"The Franchises and the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have been in breach of contract for nearly two and a half months," FICA Chief Executive Tim May said.

"We have given them every opportunity to settle these amounts and they have continually responded with a series of broken promises and empty public pronouncements."

"It goes without saying that FICA will be strongly recommending to all players, both in and outside Bangladesh, that they should not contemplate participating in this tournament in the coming years," he added.

May pointed out BCB had promised last month to pay the outstanding dues to the players from their own pockets, if necessary.

BPL secretary Sirajuddin Mohammad Alamgir contradicted May's claim, saying only $70,000, was still outstanding and that too due to disputes over players' injuries and bonus payments.

"Since a very small portion is now outstanding, it's unfortunate for the FICA to ask the players to boycott the tournament," Alamgir told Reuters by phone.

"We transferred Marlon Samuels' dues of $170,000 last month but the money has repeatedly bounced back from the account number he provided us."

Alamgir also said that New Zealand cricketer Scott Styris' dues were transferred to another player's account by mistake.

FICA, which was set up in 1998 and has most of the cricketers' associations around the world as its members, said it would support the players in legal action against the franchises and the BCB.

"The process of the payment of players has deteriorated into a joke and the unprofessionalism of its handling is massively short of that required standard of an ICC full member country," May added.