Bangladesh ex-captain quits rebel league

DHAKA: Bangladesh's former Test captain Habibul Bashar said Monday he had ended his contract with the unauthorised Indian Twenty20 league and wanted to play for his country.

Bashar was among 14 players who quit the national side to play in the Indian Cricket League (ICL), earning them a 10-year ban from international cricket.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) this month offered an amnesty to the ICL players, asking them to return to the official fold by June 15.

"I have already sent a notice to the ICL terminating my agreement and sought the amnesty offered by the Bangladesh Cricket Board," the 36 year-old batsman told AFP.

"The board has said they are happy that I have applied for a comeback. I think I've two more years to give to the country and I don't want to stay out of mainstream cricket anymore.

"It's painful not to be involved with domestic and international cricket. There is no doubt the ICL is very lucrative, but money is not everything."

Bashar, who has played 50 Test matches and scored 3,026 runs with three centuries, said he expected more ICL players to follow his lead.

Bangladesh's cricket chiefs welcomed the news.

"We have already received an application from Bashar to return, which is very good news for Bangladesh cricket. We are confident many more will follow," BCB spokesman Jalal Yunus said.

The players had reportedly signed contracts worth 200,000 dollars to play in the ICL, which is bankrolled by India's largest media company Zee Telefilms and is not recognised by the International Cricket Council (ICC).