The Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations, or FICA, has expressed concern over the conditions that led Bangladeshi players to go on strike.
Players in Bangladesh do not feel heard or respected in relation to important issues that affect them in their careers and livelihoods, Tony Irish, executive chairman of FICA, said in a statement on Tuesday.
FICA’s statement comes in response to a media conference held by national and first-class domestic cricketers in Dhaka on Monday. The players went on strike, demanding a pay hike.
The development comes a month after the BCB decided to abandon the Bangladesh Premier League franchise-based model, cutting into the cricketers’ income.
Their 11-point demand includes immediate resignations of president and general secretary of Cricketers Welfare Association of Bangladesh, reversing the BCB’s decision to abandon the franchise-based model and lifting the salary cap in the Dhaka Premier League.
“FICA commends the players in Bangladesh for their unity and for taking a stand together in order to secure fair conditions applicable to them as professional cricketers. This has happened despite the challenging environment for players to collectivise in Bangladesh and it is a clear indication of the need for change in the way players are treated in what we regard as an important cricket country,” Irish said.
“It is the role of a players’ association to be the voice, and collective representative, of the players, and it is a matter of concern to us that the Cricketers’ Welfare Association of Bangladesh (CWAB) does not appear to be fulfilling this role at a very critical time for the players.”
It is of further concern that it appears that the office bearers of CWAB hold positions with the Bangladesh Cricket Board, according to the statement.
“Given the collective nature of the issues we believe that it’s important for FICA to offer its support and assistance to the players during this time.”
At FICA’s annual meeting held in London earlier this month, the FICA board discussed and approved amendments to FICA’s membership and minimum standards framework and it was resolved that the new framework should focus on ensuring that member players’ associations are both genuinely representative of current players and clearly independent from relevant governing bodies.
In a follow-up to these changes, FICA said it intends to review CWAB’s current membership of FICA.