Iqbal is still waiting for his payments to come through
Bangladesh opening batsman Tamim Iqbal has revealed that he is still yet to be paid from representing the Chittagong Kings in the inaugural edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
Iqbal also stated that the Kings’ chief executive Sameer Quader Chowdhury had told him to tell the BPL governing council that he had been paid in full, but the franchise have denied the allegation.
However, the BPL did confirm that Iqbal was the only Kings’ player that did not get paid after the first season of the tournament.
Speaking exclusively to Prothom Alo, Iqbal said: “I couldn’t play many of the BPL matches, so I told him [Chowdhury] let’s sit and decide a figure, which came to Taka 1 crore ($123,000), but I still haven’t received a single taka, Samir Quader Chowdhury gave me a check worth Taka 1 crore six or seven months ago, but it bounced. Since then he has given me dates but has never kept the commitment.”
According to BPL rules, a franchise is supposed to pay its star player 10 per cent more than its highest-paid player, which effectively means that Iqbal is actually owed somewhere in the region of $210,000 (Tk 1.7 crore approximately).
But, Chowdhury noted that the BPL council had changed their payment structure.
“We gave him the cheque a long time ago but we had stopped it because we found out that the payment for the icon players had been reduced to $100,000, which amounts to approximately Tk 80 lakh, and after 10% tax deduction it ends up as Tk 72 lakh, we asked the board how much we should pay Tamim, but we haven’t heard back from them. We asked them to take the fact that he played only two matches into consideration too. Unless they tell us, we can’t pay him,” Chowdhury said.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) director Sirajuddin Mohammad Alamgir explained that the league council had decided to allow franchises to negotiate wages with their star players.
“All the other franchises have spoken to their icon players and I expect it to end amicably with Tamim and Chittagong as well, he is the only unpaid player in their franchise and I expect it to be completed before the October 20 deadline, when the teams have to complete all payments,” Alamgir said.
Iqbal also noted that he was made to lie to the BPL council about his payments.
“Sameer [Quader Chowdhury] asked me to tell the board that I got my full payment, but I didn’t. I informed the BPL governing council of what he asked me to do, though I didn’t lodge a complaint. I didn’t want to ruin my relationship with Sameer but now, after so long, I have no other options [but to tell the media],” Iqbal added.
However, Chowdhury declined the accusation, and said: “If that was true, why would I ask the board how much we should pay him?”
This is just the latest chapter of Iqbal’s problems with the Kings’ franchise since after missing four matches due to a groin injury he was involved in a heated dispute with Dean Jones, who was the team’s technical director at the time.
Things continued to escalate towards boiling point when Iqbal was removed from the Kings roster right at the last minute before the first home game.