Tamim Iqbal, captain of the Chittagong Vikings franchise in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), lashed out against a franchise official of the Sylhet Super Stars over the fiasco that broke out before start of play in the teams’ league encounter on Monday (November 24).
A clearly irked Iqbal alleged that the said official resorted to abuse during an argument with regards to the playing regulations. The drama unfolded before the start of play at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium when the Super Stars attempted to include foreign players whose No Objection Certificates had not reached BPL’s technical committee on time. Ravi Bopara and Joshua Cobb’s names were not included in the team sheets exchanged during the toss – which was delayed by over 20 minutes – something which enraged Iqbal.
Iqbal was then seen animated in conversation with a senior Super Stars official before losing his cool and heading back to the dressing room. The game eventually started nearly an hour after the scheduled start of play.
Miffed at the exchange with the official, Iqbal opined that national cricketers ought to be treated better. “The one thing I want to say is that people need to respect national cricketers. People have money but that doesn’t mean they will treat a national cricketer like a beggar. People need to start respecting us,” he said after the match.
“We are here to play cricket, I haven’t come here to hear insults about my parents or my family. And I was so nice to that individual, I even called him ‘Sir’. He asked me to stand up and talk to him and I did that. Then he said a really bad thing about my family, which was very insulting.
“These franchisees may have a lot of money, but there is a 1000 times more money in the IPL. I might not have played in the IPL but I was in the squad. I know how they treat players,” he added.
Iqbal refused to name the individual, stating, “I think you all know who I am talking about”, but hoped that the disciplinary committee of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) would take necessary action against the perpetrator.
Jala Younis, BPL’s technical committee convener, admitted later in the day that the Sylhet management had erred in trying to change the team after the toss but gave no indication of further action against the team.
The controversy notwithstanding, Iqbal went on to compile a stroke-filled 45-ball 69 to help the Vikings steal a one-run win.