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Page last updated at 18:02 GMT, Tuesday, 16 September 2008 19:02 UK

Bangladesh players join rebel ICL

Bangladesh cricket

Former captain Habibul Bashar and 12 other Bangladesh players are to join a new team called the Dhaka Warriors in the rebel Indian Cricket League.

Bashar and several players resigned from the national team last week.

The players were summoned to meet the Bangladesh board but did not attend and instead were at an ICL news conference.

Bashar denied the players had been disloyal and said: "We do have many players and the ICL is not going to stop us playing for Bangladesh."

Batsman Shahriar Nafees also dismissed suggestions that the players had shunned their country in favour of the more lucrative ICL, which is not sanctioned by the International Cricket Council and carries the threat of international bans.

"As a cricketer first and last I would love to play cricket," Nafees said.

"I sacrificed 10 years of my life and never thought about money. As a professional player, I will get money to play. I thought it was a new dimension of cricket."

ICL organisers said that the new Dhaka Warriors team will play in the Twenty20 league's second season starting on 10 October which features 34 matches at four venues.

That is a day after Bangladesh begin a home one-day series against New Zealand, followed by two Tests later in the month.

Before the player exodus took place Bangladesh were beaten 3-0 in a one-day series in Australia.

The team have won only one of their 53 Tests and just six one-day internationals against teams from the top eight nations.

Bangladesh officials hinted that the matter of the defecting players would be taken further.

"We will decide appropriate actions against them as they breached contracts by disobeying the summons," Gazi Ashraf Hossain, the committee chairman, told reporters.

The Bangladesh Cricket Players Association also became involved in the saga.

"Change your decision and come back to uphold cricket and the country's image," former Bangladesh captain Aminul Islam, a leader of the association, urged.

see also
Australia romp to series victory
03 Sep 08 |  Australia

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