Delayed BPL payments draws Player Association ire
"Players Deserve Better from BPL Franchises and BCB" : Tim May
By Saj Sadiq (25th April 2012)
The 2012 Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) tournament was touted as a worthy local partner to the hugely popular Indian Premier League (IPL). It featured some big names from the world of international cricket and also allowed Pakistani players, many of whom were unable to play in the IPL, to display their talent in return for, what they hoped would have been, some lucrative financial returns.
The T20 tournament was held between February 9th and 29th with the Dhaka Gladiators being declared winners by virtue of a 8 wicket victory over the Barisal Burners.
Whilst the initial version of the tournament may have ended on a high note for the organizers, the thorny issue of delayed payments for participants continues to rankle many who are involved with the game.
Tim May is the CEO of the The Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA). As the head of an organization which protects the interests of professional cricketers throughout the world, he is understandably concerned by the issue of delayed payments to cricketers involved in the BPL.
In exclusive comments made to PakPassion.net, Tim vociferously criticizes the BPL administration for their non-compliance with terms and conditions of player contracts and also discusses some of the options open to FICA for pursuing this cause.
On Advice given by FICA to players before commencement of BPL
“We originally advised players not to sign the first draft of contracts that were being offered as the contracts were very basic and needed a lot of work to bring them up to an acceptable level. Through an intermediary we were able to negotiate the final player contracts with the BPL and the end contract were agreeable to us.
As part of the contract we staggered payment obligations of the franchises across 3 dates, one before the tournament commenced, one during and one following the event. We also ensured that the Bangladesh Cricket Board guaranteed the player payments (this was written into the player contract).
We advised players that despite us coming to agreement with the BPL regarding the terms and conditions of the contract – that we had some concerns regarding the tournament and advised that players should not travel to Bangladesh without receiving the first 25% installment of their salary”
Opinion on the whole issue of delays and non-payments of dues to players
“Our take is that there is an obligation on the franchises and BCB to pay the players and that those obligations have well and truly expired."
"Whilst slowly but surely some of the players are being progressively paid, we don’t really care for excuses as there is an obligation to pay and they must honor these obligations.”
Obligations on BPL organizers and their refusal to respond to FICA enquiries
"The final payment of the player’s contract was to have been paid within 45 days of the completion of the event. These monies were to be paid by the franchises (the BCB is a guarantor of these amounts). The 45 days has now elapsed.”
“Following the finalization of the player contract, the BCB stated that they did not recognize FICA and will not deal with us – nonetheless we will continue our efforts to recover the players money and will not rest until all players, foreign and local have been paid."
Damage to the image of Cricket in general and in particular to Bangladesh
“Put simply, players deserve better. I think it is particularly embarrassing to the Bangladesh Cricket Board – after all they have made a commitment to guarantee payment within the 45 day period and it appears that they have no intention of honoring this at the moment."
"You expect more from the governors of our sport.”
ICCs role in supervision and oversight of such high profile tournaments.
“I actually do feel that they should get more involved – particularly from an anti corruption and anti doping perspective. Some countries simply don’t have the resources to provide all the necessary testing, policing and education related to the above, and as we have seen, any infractions of the respective codes have a large impact on the reputation and worth of the game worldwide.”
Possible course of action to address this issue, including the legal route
“Legal action will be the last course of action – we hope that we are able to convince the franchises and BCB to honor their obligations to players in as short a time as possible."
"Non payment of players will be a sure way to ensure that players wont play in the event next year!”