It comes as a surprise to many that the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has decided to grant only two No Objection Certificates (NOCs) annually to contracted players who wish to take part in leagues overseas.
This decision took effect immediately after the BCB issued the new restrictions which will be imposed on all forms of cricket. The board also declared it mandatory for the cricketers to participate in Bangladesh's first-class competitions.
"It is a principled, policy decision by the board. We will allow two NOCs per year and it will be on a case-by-case basis with immediate effect. We want to give them enough rest and manage their injuries. We want to ensure all our players are available for international matches,” Nizamuddin informed reporters yesterday.
It was also learnt that the BCB took this course of action following the national team's disastrous South Africa tour, where Shakib Al Hasan took a break from the Test series, which could have also triggered the board's decision.
This verdict will hurt Shakib the most as he is the busiest Bangladesh cricketer. Participating in competitions such as the Indian Premier League, Big Bash League, Pakistan Super League and the Caribbean Premier League keeps the star all-rounder busy year round while Tigers' teammates Tamim Iqbal, Mustafizur Rahman and lately Mahmudullah also started participating in tournaments abroad.
Tamim, Shakib and Mustafizur were recently selected by franchises in the UAE to play the T10 competition next month in Dubai and so, following the BCB's decision, it will be interesting to see whether the players are allowed to participate or not.
The news came as quite a shock to the country's cricketers but due to the BCB's new media restrictions, players are not able to speak on various matters, which include this latest one.