Mushfiqur Rahim has reminded the BCB of the Bangladesh players’ demand for equal if not more pay than overseas players in the BPL. Speaking of the inequality of payments in the BPL, he said that Bangladesh’s all-format cricketers end up making less money than many T20 specialists.
“We don’t always get the desired payment,” Mushfiqur said ahead of his team Khulna Tigers’ opening game in BPL 2019-20. “We have informed the decision-makers, and they have assured us that from the next season, we will get our salary properly. We play all year but end up getting less than many others who only play T20s, which is a discredit for us. All local players in the other [T20] leagues get the highest payment.”
Better payments in the BPL was one of the 11 demands laid out by the players when they went on strike in October, stopping first-class cricket and threatening to boycott the India tour. The strike ended within three days, but it has left an indelible mark on the player-board relationship. The board has so far raised players’ match fees and allowances in the first-class competition but on many of the demands, including the pay rise in the BPL, it has promised to follow-up next season.
As things stand, Mushfiqur will get USD 59,000 approximately as an A-plus category local cricketer in the BPL. During every BPL season so far, domestic players have been paid less than the overseas recruits in every category. This year, an A grade domestic player will get USD 29,500, as opposed to an overseas player in the same category who will get USD 70,000.
Mushfiqur also believes that several Bangladeshi cricketers have languished in the lower rungs of the BPL draft, which doesn’t earn them enough money, even though they perform better than the overseas players.
“We have been assured about the next BPL. I think we have to keep an eye on the difference with the overseas players. Only four or five local players are considered in the top bracket while the rest of them, guys like Shafiul [Islam], Taijul [Islam] and Rahi [Abu Jayed] are either in B or C category,” he said. “It would help Bangladesh cricket if we pay attention to this.”
This is another issue that could be addressed from next season, as the local cricketers will then be allowed to choose their own category.
The BCB has also said that it will go back to the franchise model from next season, after having taken charge this season after a fallout with the franchises; that means, it could be up to the players or their representatives to convince the board to ensure that the players get better pay from the franchise owners.