DHAKA (AFP) - Bangladesh's struggling cricket team faced a major threat to its future on Sunday after the head of the sport's governing body said several players would join a rebel Indian Twenty20 league. Bangladesh Cricket Board director Gazi Ashraf Hossain Lipu said the players had informed the board about they would take part in the Indian Cricket League (ICL). The ICL, owned by an Indian media giant, is not sanctioned by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and players joining the league have been banned by their respective cricket boards. Lipu said the six cricketers included batsman Aftab Ahmed, wicket-keeper Dhiman Ghosh and bowlers Mohammad Rubel Hossain and Farhad Reza. Ex-Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar and his former deputy Shariar Nafees Ahmed complete the rebel group. "They may face ban from domestic and international cricket," Lipu said. The country's Bengali daily Prothom Alo said as many as 14 players had lined up to join the new ICL season, which opens on October 10. Former captain and chief selector Faruq Ahmed feared the development would damage the Bangladesh team and threaten its Test status, which was acquired only eight years ago. "These are the top Bangladesh players. Their joining ICL will weaken the national team, which has already had very bad performance in the last six months," Ahmed said."I think this is the biggest crisis for Bangladesh cricket since it won Test status." Ahmed said money played a big part in the decision as a player could make as much as in the rest of his career by playing in the ICL for only one month. Bangladesh have had a poor record in Test cricket, winning just once and drawing four out of 53 matches so far. The national team was routed 3-0 by Australia in a one-day international series this month. New Zealand are due to tour the country next month for a two-Test and three-match one-day series.