Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the country’s cricket board have offered support to suspended all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, insisting that his failure to report corrupt approaches was a mistake from which he will learn and bounce back as a wiser player.
Shakib, Bangladesh’s Test, and T20 captain and the world’s No.1 all-rounder in ODIs, has been handed a two-year suspension by the International Cricket Council for failing to report three corrupt approaches, including one during the Indian Premier League, by a suspected Indian bookie. He is forced out of Bangladesh’s upcoming tour of India.
Twelve months of that ban is a suspended sentence that will come into effect if the 32-year-old fails to comply with the anti-corruption code of the world body.
The one-year ban that he has to serve will keep him out of next year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) and also the ICC 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia from October 18 to November 15.
“It’s clear that Shakib has made a mistake and he’s realized that,” Hasina was quoted as saying by bdnews24.com. “There’s nothing much the Government can do about the ICC’s decision but BCB will stand by him,” she added.
The ban comes as a huge blow for Bangladesh cricket ahead of their tour of India for three T20 Internationals and two Tests. The second Test at Kolkata will be played under floodlights from November 22. The tour will start with the T20 International at New Delhi on November 3.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), however, said that doors will be opened for Shakib once his ban ends. “We hope he will come back as a better and wiser cricketer and serve Bangladesh for many more years when his sanction will be over,” BCB said in a statement.
“During the suspension, the BCB will continue to support his efforts at returning to cricket. The BCB respects the ICC’s decision and shares similar sentiments against corruption in cricket”
Shakib was spoken to by the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit in January and August this year. He had failed to report the approaches made to him by “an individual known to the ACU and suspected of involvement in corruption in cricket, Deepak Aggarwal.”
The ICC said Aggarwal had asked Shakib to provide information on team composition and strategy on three separate occasions, one of them being April 26, 2018, when his IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad was to take on Kings XI Punjab. Sunrisers won the game by 13 runs.
Shakib had “accepted three charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code”, something which went in his favor as he escaped the maximum punishment of five years for the offense.