Banned Shakib pleads for  support, promises return
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Bangladesh's fallen star breaks silence after being slapped with a two-year ban for anti-corruption offences by the ICC
Bangladesh's fallen star breaks silence after being slapped with a two-year ban for anti-corruption offences by the ICC

BANNED Bangladesh allrounder and captain  Shakib Al Hasan has pleaded for support from the cricketing fraternity and expressed his determination to return after he completes his ban.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) handed Shakib a two-year ban from cricket, with the second year suspended, for failing to inform authorities about being approached by a bookmaker on multiple occasions in 2018.

“Those who have supported me over the years I hope they, the fans, Bangladesh Cricket Board, the government, the journalists will continue to support me in my bad and good time,” Shakib told reporters in Dhaka hours after the ban was announced.

“If you continue your support, I am hopeful I will come back to cricket soon. I will be stronger and will perform my responsibilities with more sincerity,” he said.

Shakib will be free to resume international cricket from October 29, 2020 subject to his satisfying the conditions relating to the suspended part of the sanction, the ICC said.

The ban effectively ruled out Shakib from next year’s T20 World Cup that will be held from October 8 to November 15 in Australia.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) praised Shakib for his cooperation with the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) investigators and promised its full support for him.

“While the BCB is shocked and extremely disappointed that an experienced player like Shakib had failed to report a corrupt approach on three occasions, at the same time we are pleased that he has cooperated fully with the ICC ACU and has pledged his commitment to its education programme,” BCB president Nazmul Hassan said in a statement.

“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. During the suspension the BCB will continue to support his efforts at returning to cricket,” he said.

Shakib will be free to resume international cricket from October 29, 2020 subject to his satisfying the conditions relating to the suspended part of the sanction, the ICC said.

The ban effectively ruled out Shakib from next year’s T20 World Cup that will be held from October 8 to November 15 in Australia.

Shakib, who has played 56 Tests, 206 ODIs and 76 Twenty20 internationals, is by far Bangladesh’s best-known player, having topped the ICC allrounder rankings in all three formats several times since 2009.

He starred for the team during the recent 50-over World Cup in England, where he scored 606 runs in eight innings at an average of 86.57, including two centuries, and collected 11 wickets.

In the World Cup, he also became the fastest and only the fifth cricketer to reach 5,000 runs and 250 wickets in ODIs.

The suspension against Shakib came at a time when he was at loggerheads with Bangladesh cricket officials after leading a player revolt last week.

The country’s cricket board said on Saturday they would take legal action against Shakib for allegedly breaching his contract to sign a sponsorship deal with a mobile phone operator.

The turmoil over Shakib came just days before Bangladesh were to embark on their first-ever full-fledged bilateral series in India featuring three Twenty20 internationals and two Tests, that will include the first-ever day-night Test for both nations at Eden Gardens.

Shakib had been expected to lead the team in both series. (AFP)

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