New Delhi:The Indian Cricket League (ICL) on Tuesday unveiled its ninth city-based team, Dhaka Warriors, for its second season starting October 10, a move which would plunge Bangladesh cricket into crisis.
The Dhaka-based team to be led by former Bangladesh captain Habib-ul-Bashar and coached by 1983 World Cup winner Balwinder Singh Sandhu will take part in ICL T20 Championship to be played in four venues - Panchkula, New Delhi, Gurgaon and Ahmedabad - from October 10.
"Last year, we brought Lahore Badshah into our fold, this year we have the Dhaka Warriors. It is only getting bigger and we are working on bringing teams from other countries next year," ICL executive Board Chairman Kapil Dev said a press conference.
The newest team, whose 13 members were announced today, will also take part in the four-team ICL World Series tournament as ICL Bangladesh between November 23 to 30.
Besides Bashar, two current Bangladesh players -- opening batsman Shahriar Nafis and wicket-keeper Dhiman Ghosh -- and Alok Kapali, were introduced today.
The nine other Bangladeshi players, who have signed contracts with ICL risking a ban from their board, were current Bangladesh players Aftab Ahmed and Farhad Reza, Manjural Islam, Mabud Chowdhury, Mahboob-ul-Karim, Mohammad Rafique, Mohammad Sharif, Mosharraf Hossain and Tapash Baisya.
Bashar confirmed that six of them -- Aftab Ahmed, Farhad Reza, Mosharraf Hossain, Dhiman Ghosh, Shahriar Nafis, besides himself -- have informed the Bangladesh Cricket Board about their retirement to join the ICL.
"We have written to the board that we are quitting. But if the board says we can still play for the country we are happy to do that," he said.
"We were told to meet the Board officials today but we did not. They (the board) have extended the time for two days. We will think after we reach home," he said.
The top Bangladesh players were reportedly offered USD 2,00,000 by ICL but Nafis rubbished reports that they had joined ICL for money.
"I had never hankered after money. Had I wanted money I would have done other things then cricket. Cricket was my passion and being professionals we are paid money. ICL gives a new option to cricket and to life, so I had chosen it," he said.
Kapil lauded the Bangladeshi players for joining the ICL, saying this will help them learn more in their game.
"They beat us (India) in last year's World Cup. Our Indian youngsters will have a lot to learn from them and they will also learn a lot from the international stars in the league," he said.