Dhaka, Bangladesh:Six Bangladesh players, including former captain Habibul Bashar, resigned from the national team Sunday in an apparent move to join the rebel Indian Cricket League, an official said.
Former captain Habibul Bashar, along with Shariar Nafees, Aftab Ahmed, Mosharraf Hossain, Farhad Reza and Dhiman Ghosh - who all have contracts with the Bangladesh Cricket Board - cited "personal reasons" in their resignation letters, board official Ashraf Hossain said.
The board was holding an emergency meeting Sunday to discuss the resignations.
Local media reports said as many as 14 Bangladesh players could quit the national team in order to join the ICL in a newly formed team based in Bangladesh.
The Indian Cricket League is a Twenty20 competition that is not recognized by the International Cricket Council, and runs in opposition to the sanctioned Indian Premier League. Players competing in the ICL therefore face potential bans from international cricket.
Bashar said he had an offer to join the ICL but was yet to sign any contract.
Other former or current national team players who were also expected to the join the ICL include Mohammad Rafique, Alok Kapali, Nazim Uddin, Manjurul Islam, Tapash Baishya and Mohammad Sharif, the daily Prothom Alo newspaper said Sunday.
The loss of so many top players would devastate the Bangladesh national team, which already struggles to compete against the top sides in international play.
The national team, which included Kapali, Reza and Ghosh, convincingly lost all three matches in a limited overs series against Australia earlier this month. It will face New Zealand in a test and one-day series at home next month.