Vol. 5 Num 568 Sat. December 31, 2005  

Sonargaon set an example
6 fined including Rokon, Rafique, Ashraful

The crisis at Premiership cricket club Sonargaon Cricketers deepened when the newcomers stripped Al-Shahriar Rokon's captaincy and fined a total of six players including two top national cricketers on Friday.

Big-spending Sonargaon, who began as one of the pre-tournament favourites but continued with their mediocre run, handed punishments to Rokon, national cricketers Mohammed Rafique and Mohammad Ashraful and Ejaz Ahmed, Rafiqul Islam and Ilias Sunny after yet another pathetic performance in the league.

Sonargaon crashed to their fourth defeat in seven matches to lowly Kalabagan Krira Chakra and when the team returned to the dressing room, their afternoon was ruined as club officials handed over letters of show-cause and fines.

Former national cricketer Rokon was fined Tk 50,000 while Ashraful and Rafique each Tk 25,000 for negligence, reckless batting and too much relaxation, told club secretary Ishtiaque Siddque to reporters.

"We have also show-caused and fined Ejaz, Rafiqul and Ilias Tk 10,000 each for same reason," a dejected Ishtiaque added.

"We have built a strong team but we haven't found any reasons behind the poor shows but the indifference of the cricketers. We asked the captain to submit a written explanation about the overall situation after our narrow defeat to Biman but he disobeyed. We also demanded explanations from other cricketers but they did not respond too.

"They are all international players and what could we tell them to recover? We have been looking after their demands and most of the players have been received almost full payments. But we have seen them throwing wickets and it has been happening regularly. National cricketers just don't give catches inside the 30-yard circle match after match," said Ishtiaque, who seemed to still searching for a clue.

After a one-hour team meeting following the match against Kalabagan at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium, the punished cricketers admitted that 'they needed such a punishment'.

On condition of anonymity, a cricketer said on behalf of the other punished ones that they have yet to realise the reason behind the failure of so many top cricketers.

"We needed this. May be, the punishment will help us to be serious in the future," the national cricketer said.