The incumbent of much discussed Cricketers’ Welfare Association of Bangladesh (CWAB) is reluctant to resign despite a major demand from the top notch cricketers of the country.
On Monday (Oct 21), more than 50 top players gathered in Mirpur to announce their strike for indefinite period from any cricketing activities until their 11-point demand is fulfilled, and the first point they uttered was the resignation of current CWAB officials and replace them with an election.
The players, who called the strike on behalf of all the Bangladesh cricketers, argued that the CWAB officials are not prioritizing the welfare of cricketers.
However, CWAB president Naimur Rahman, who is also a director of Bangladesh Cricket Board, declined to fulfill their demand.
“I won’t say all players, but only a few, who were present in the press conference, are thinking that CWAB is not working on behalf of them and for that reason they wanted us to resign. They may want that but CWAB is not consisted of them only and it is an organization with many other players including the formers,” say Naimur, former Bangladesh captain, at a press conference at the BCB office on Tuesday (Oct 22).
Naimur also added that his organization is working for the players over the years and is in the process of bargaining with the BCB about many demands the players have raised.
However, it is apparent that CWAB has been largely inactive since 2012 after the erstwhile BCB president AHM Mustafa Kamal largely dismissed it as collective bargaining agency and the organization has no formal bargaining rights.
Debabrata Paul, the secretary of CWAB and also a BCB-paid match referee, is widely criticized for his dual role and players often allege that he is biased for his employers, rather than looking after the players’ welfare.
However, Naimur batted for his secretary and said the presence of Paul and Khaled Mahmud, the vice-president of CWAB and also a BCB director, in the board is actually helping them to put pressure on the country’s regulatory body of cricket.
CWAB, which represents Bangladesh in the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations, did not hold any election since its formation.
Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) also expressed solidarity with the Bangladesh players’ demand with an official statement Tuesday, rather than communicating with CWAB.
But Debarata rather alleged players for not holding the election as he said they held the helm during a tough time in the caretaker government regime and are trying their best to hold an election to decide the new leadership in the organization.
The secretary informed that the tenure of their present committee ended seven months ago but they could not form a new committee in the absence of co-operation from players.
“We invited three national players to join the committee but they did not come forward,” he said, without naming any player.
“Players hardly come to us. Still we are working to protect their interest,” he added.