Bashar cries foul after ban

September 18th, 2008 - 1:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Sep 18 (IANS) “Dhaka Warriors” skipper and Bangladesh’s former national captain Habibul Bashar has protested the ‘harsh’ reaction of the country’s cricket board banning him and other players for 10 years.He said on return from New Delhi where he signed the contract with the Indian Cricket League (ICL): “I did not really expect it. I thought the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) would ban us for the period we will be playing in ICL. But now what happened, it has been very harsh for us.”

He told New Age newspaper: “The ICL was never a banned tournament. It just did not get the sanction from the BCCI. But that doesn’t mean the players who will play in it have to banned. It is injustice.

“One can expect a ban of this extent for a player who is linked to match-fixing or something like that. But we did noting like that. We did not do any crime and joined the ICL to play cricket,” said Bashar, the most successful Bangladesh captain with one Test and 29 ODI victories.

Bashar cited the example of Irish cricketer Neil O’Brien, who played in the first edition of the ICL, but did not continue further.

The ICC not only allowed him to play for the national team after severing ties with the ICL, but also nominated him for the ICC’s Associate Player of the Year award this year.

“If O’Brien can resume his international career after playing in the ICL, why we will not be allowed to do the same?” argued Bashar, adding that the ICL would never restrain them from playing for the national team.

“We were promised by the ICL authorities that they would never stand in our way if we get a call in the national team. So we expected a more sensible decision from the BCB.”

Asked how they will continue practice in the off-season because the BCB decided not to allow them to use its facilities, Bashar said they would leave the issue to the ICL authorities.

“The ICL has roped us in and we hope they will look after it,” he said.

The ban follows reports that as many as 13 Bangladeshi players have signed for the ICL.

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