DHAKA: The Bangladesh cricket authorities said on Saturday they would take legal action against star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan for allegedly breaching his contract to sign a sponsorship deal with a top mobile phone operator.
Shakib on Tuesday inked the agreement with former national team sponsor Grameenphone for an undisclosed sum at a time when he was also leading a players’ strike for better pay and benefits.
“We believe there was a contractual and procedural breach in his contract. Of course, we will take action against it,” the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) chief executive officer Nizamuddin Chowdhury said.
The BCB president Nazmul Hassan said they will seek compensation from both Shakib and the phone company.
“We are going to take legal action. There is no scope to spare anyone. We will seek compensation from both the company and the player,” Nazmul said in an interview with Bengali newspaper Kalerkantho on Saturday.
“We thought it’s a kind of ‘I don’t give a damn to the rules of Board’ attitude. If that is the case, of course, we will take tough action,” he said.
Grameenphone — which is majority owned by Norway’s Telenor — was the sponsor of BCB during the period of 2009-2011.
Hassan said the BCB incurred huge losses after the company signed players individually instead of bidding to become the team sponsor in 2015 when a rival operator won the deal.
“This is why we barred the players to sign any agreement with telcos...yet, he (Shakib) did this. And you see the timing? Agreement after stopping play. These are audacious behaviour,” he said. The BCB president also criticised Shakib for his on-field performance.
“We defeated England and Australia in our own ground. Now we lost to Afghanistan. If I was responsible I would not show my face let alone stage a protest,” he added, referring to Bangladesh’s humiliating 224-run loss in one-off Test against Afghanistan in early September when Shakib was captain.
Shakib led a players’ strike on Monday which follows increasing criticism from players that the BCB was not sharing its wealth.
The players called off the strike late on Wednesday and started training on Friday for next month’s India tour as the BCB accepted most of their demands.
Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2019