Bangladeshi cricketers, led by Shakib Al Hasan, have decided to refrain from participating in any cricketing activities until their 11-point demands are met.
Over 50 players, led by national cricketers, announced their demands at the BCB Academy ground in Mirpur on Monday.
Naeem Islam started the press meet with the first demand for the current committee of the Cricketers' Welfare Association of Bangladesh (CWAB) to resign. He was followed by Mahmudullah Riyad, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Enamul Haque Junior, Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Nurul Hasan, Junaid Siddique and Farhad Reza who announced the other demands.
The 11 demands set by the players include: resignation of the current committee of CWAB and selection of a new committee by the players and returning the Dhaka Premier League (DPL) to its previous transfer format in which players can choose a club and payment.
The Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) must also be returned to its franchise-based format next year and local players must receive wages coherent with that of foreign players, they said.
Players also demanded raising salaries of first-class cricketers by 50 percent and better facilities in practice arenas, and asked that coaches and physios be appointed for the whole year for first-class cricketers.
The cricketers also demanded that their daily allowance be increased and players always travel to match venues by air. Resident hotel for the players should have a gym or swimming pool. Air conditioned buses must be given to the players while travelling from the hotel to match venues.
The quality of the ball used in the domestic arena must also be changed. The number of players under the Bangladesh Cricket Board's annual contract must be increased to at least 30, and also the salaries of the players must be increased.
Local coaches, umpires, physios, and trainers must be prioritized and their salaries must be raised, the cricketers demanded.
Players further asked holding another local One Day and T20 tournament every year, and fixing a schedule for domestic tournaments.
All due salaries of BPL and DPL participants must be cleared within a fixed time and players must be allowed to play in over two franchise leagues in a year, said the cricketers.
Speaking about lower tiers of Bangladeshi cricket, Shakib Al Hasan said, "We all know about the quality of our first, second and third divisions. Often the players know before the match which team will win and which team will lose. We all think that fixing this problem is very important.
If a player gets out because of bad decisions in two-three matches and then gets out on a good delivery, his career ends there. If we want good players to come through the system, the pipeline must be improved," he added.
Shakib also said that if the women's cricket team – who could not be included because of their "sudden decision" to call the strike – have any demands, they are welcome to join the male cricketers.
Under-19 players were not included because they are currently preparing for the U-19 World Cup next year.
When asked about whether the upcoming conditioning camp for the India tour, set to start on October 25, would be included in the strike, Shakib replied that all cricketers except the U-19 and lower age-level players are on strike, including national team fixtures and the National Cricket League.
He also said that they all want what is good for Bangladesh's cricket scene and will return to normal activities once their demands are met.
Shakib also added that they all wanted to ensure a good environment for upcoming cricketers.
Responding to the strike, Bangladesh Cricket Board CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury said, "We just came to know about it. We will surely discuss it and try to resolve it as soon as possible. I don't think this is a revolt. They are yet to tell us anything formally, but we are looking into the matter."
If the strike continues, the Bangladesh National Team's upcoming India tour, which commences on November 3, will be in jeopardy.