Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the country’s Cricket Board on Tuesday came out in support of suspended all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, saying that not reporting the approaches by a bookie was a mistake but exuded confidence that he will bounce back as a wiser player. "It’s clear that Shakib has made a mistake and he’s realised that… There’s nothing much the government can do about the ICC’s decision but BCB will stand by him," local media quoted Hasina as saying.
The Bangladesh captain and world's best all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has been banned for two years (one of those suspended), for failing to report corrupt approaches on numerous occasions, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Tuesday.
Two years ago, Shakib had received an offer from a suspected bookie, identified as Deepak Aggarwal, which he did not report to the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU). Responding to the ICC action, Shakib said that he was "extremely sad" by the ICC action but admitted the charges.
"I am extremely sad to have been banned from the game I love, but I completely accept my sanction for not reporting the approaches. ICC ACU is reliant on players to play a central part in fight against corruption&I didn't do my duty in this instance," he said.
This has come as a big set-back for the Bangladeshi team, which is scheduled to tour India for three T20 Internationals and two Tests, starting November 3. The squad will leave for the neighbouring country on Wednesday and Shakib will not be part of it. Bangladesh will now have to face the formidable Indian side without its biggest player.
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,” it added.