Thu, 28 Jan 2021

Cape Town - Reports in Bangladesh suggest that the country's prime minister has approached Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe Mortaza to help mediate in the ongoing strike by a number of the nation's leading cricketers.

The strike centers around the players' demands for better pay, improved facilities and changes to the country's domestic limited overs competition.

The holdout - announced by star national team all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan - aims to result with a 50 percent pay hike for first-class players, the expansion of national pay contracts, increased match fees in domestic four-day and 50-over games, and better benefits for grounds staff.

The initial reaction from the BCB president Nazmul Hassan was predictably, a negative one.

"I don't believe they are doing it for money. There may be some other reasons, part of a plan, a conspiracy to destabilise cricket," Hassan said.

"The basic objective of this strike is to spoil the camp and India tour, some outsiders are working on this."

One demand has recently been met, with the BCB agreeing to reinstate the Dhaka Premier League's club transfer system - a concession that has lead to renewed hope the strike will be resolved before the tour to India in November.

The Federation Of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) had earlier pledged its support to the players, with the organisation's executive chairperson Tony Irish (via ) praising the players "for taking a stand together in order to secure fair conditions."

BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury revealed that he will attend a meeting with the players later today with the expressed intention of solving the crisis before it gets out of hand.

"After the media conference last evening, I spoke to a senior player who told me that they would get back to us at any time after discussing among themselves. We expect to sit with them at 5pm today," said Chowdhury in a press briefing.

The tour to India (should it go ahead) next month will mark the debut of Bangladesh in the inaugrual World Test Championship with the sides set to contest a two-game series.

A three-match T20 series will be played prior to the red-ball encounters, with the first clash scheduled for November 3.

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