BPL foreign players’ payments turns into fiasco
David Bergman and Atif Azam
The payment of wages and financial expenses amounting to over $4,10,000 to 12 of the 46 international players who took part in the Bangladesh Premier League earlier this year is in total confusion.
Interviews with officials over the past two days from the BPL’s governing council, the franchise team owners, and player representatives show that little agreement exists about whether payments have been made or indeed in some cases how much these players should be paid.
Whilst franchise owners are claiming that payments to many of these players have been made, players’ representatives deny it. One agent of the players has gone so far as to claim that one franchise owner ‘had reneged on promises… and [was] playing people for fools.’
The disclosure of the current fiasco comes a week after the Federation of International Cricketers Association had issued a press release which claimed that Bangladesh franchise holders still owed a total of $600,000 to 12 foreign players none of whom were named.
In response, Serajuddin Mohmamed Alamgir, the secretary to the BPL governing council, told journalists that only about $75,000 was owed to foreign players.
Late last week, New Age managed to obtain the names of the 12 players on FICA’s list and since then has been in contact with all the relevant parties.
On Monday evening, Mohammed Alamgir told New Age that three players from the SQ Sports owned Chittagong Kings — Kevin Cooper and Dwayne Bravo from the West Indies and the Zimbabwean Brendan Taylor — had been paid a total of $53,000 and that their agent, ‘Eddie,’ had confirmed payment by e-mail.
The next morning, however, Tim May, FICA’s chief executive, said that he had just been in contact with the players’ ‘manager’ who had
told him that no money had been received in the players’ accounts.
In addition, he said that Bravo was owed $80,000, not the $30,000 that Alamgir stated.
Eddie, who said that he was only the agent of two of the players, refused to comment but added that he had a ‘good relationship’ with the Chittagong franchise.
The agent was, however, less polite about the Europa Group which owns the franchise to Dhaka Gladiators. He said that the franchise ‘had stopped communicating, reneged on promises and try to play people for fools by showing bank transfer sheets but refusing to show an actual statement with the money leaving the account.’
Keiron Pollard helped Dhaka Gladiators to win the trophy with his explosive all-round play.
The BPL governing council secretary told New Age that the franchise holder had shown him documents showing that a payment of $100,000 had been made from an HSBC bank in Malaysia.
Shihab Hossain Chowdhury, a director of the Europa Group, however, contradicted the governing council secretary. ‘I have not been able to make the payment as the bank created some difficulties and the government did not allow payment,’ he said.
FICA’s Tim May confirmed to New Age that no payment had been received and claimed that the player was is, in fact, owed around $150,000.
The other eight players who claim they have not been fully paid are the West Indian Marlon Samuels ($51,000), the South African Herschelle Gibbs ($30,000), the Pakistani Azhar Mahmood ($27,500), the New Zealander Scott Styris ($13,500), the Canadian Rizwan Cheema ($11,000) the Irishman Niell O’Brien (about $19,500), the Dutchman Alexie Karvezee ($5,000) and the Australian Brad Hodge ($3,000).
Sylhet Royals, Duronto Rajshai, and Khulna Royal Bengals are also involved in these disputes.
The only franchise holder which has no disputes with the players is Barisal Burners.
According to one players’ representative, the Bangladesh team franchises promised to pay 75 per cent of the fees midway through the tournament and the remaining 25 per cent within 40 days of the BPL final.
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