Bangladesh’s Test and T20I captain Shakib Al Hasan was suspended for two years by the ICC on Tuesday (October 29) for failing to report three corrupt approaches, including one at the IPL, by a suspected Indian bookie, ousting him from the upcoming tour of India.
If the star all-rounder fails to comply with the anti-corruption code of the world body, the twelve months of that ban which is a suspended sentence will come to effect.
Shakib while serving the one-year ban will be out of next year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) and also the World T20 to be held in Australia from October 18 to November 15 the same year.
“I am obviously extremely sad to have been banned from the game I love, but I completely accept my sanction for not reporting the approaches. The ICC ACU is reliant on players to play a central part in the fight against corruption and I didn’t do my duty in this instance,” Shakib said in a media release given by the ICC.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the country’s Cricket Board offered support to the suspended all-rounder, insisting that his failure to report corrupt approaches was a mistake from which he will learn and bounce back as a wiser player.
“It’s clear that Shakib has made a mistake and he’s realised 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.
“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.”
In the world number one ODI all-rounder’s absence, Bangladesh’s senior-most player Mushfiqur Rahim might take charge of the team’s captaincy in Tests while the three T20s will be lead by either Mahmudullah Riyadh or Mosaddek Hosain.
The 32-year-old was being kept away from the team’s ongoing practice sessions before the India tour on ICC’s instructions. The series against India comprises three T20 Internationals and two Tests and gets underway in Delhi with the shortest format games on November 3.
Shakib was spoken to by the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit in January and August this year and he 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.
“These messages on 26 April 2018 included a number of deleted messages. He confirmed that these deleted messages contained requests from Mr Aggarwal for Inside Information,” the ICC stated.
Aggarwal’s other two approaches were during the Bangladesh Premier League when Shakib was playing for Dhaka Dynamites in 2017, followed by the tri-series against Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka in January 2018.
Aggarwal, the ICC said, wanted to meet Shakib but the cricketer didn’t oblige as “he had concerns over Mr Aggarwal, feeling he was a bit ‘dodgy’, and that, following their conversations, he had the feeling that Mr Aggarwal was a bookie,” it added.
Shakib, who escaped the maximum punishment of five years for the offence, will not have the right to appeal as he accepted the ICC’s investigation and charges.
Shakib recently spearheaded a players’ strike before calling it off after the BCB assured that their demands, including a pay hike, will be fulfilled.
He is unarguably one of the greats of the game in Bangladesh with more than 11,000 runs and over 500 wickets across three formats.
The ICC said while Shakib’s voluntary admission, cooperation during interviews worked in his favour, the fact that he failed to report advances made over months was an “aggravating” factor.
“Mr Al Hasan is an experienced international cricketer who, having participated in several anti-corruption education sessions, was fully aware of his responsibilities under the Code,” the world body said in its judgement.
(With inputs from agencies)