Bangladesh’s senior cricketers Mashrafe Mortaza and Mushfiqur Rahim hoped for a strong comeback from star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan who, on Tuesday, was banned by International Cricket Council for two years (with one year suspended).
The ban came after Shakib “accepted three charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code”, the sport’s governing body said in a statement. These included failing to disclose to the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit full details of approaches or invitations made in relation to the Bangladesh-Sri Lanka-Zimbabwe Tri-Series in January 2018 as well as the 2018 Indian Premier League, it said.
Shakib, who has played 56 Tests, 206 ODIs and 76 Twenty20 internationals, is by far Bangladesh’s best known player, having topped the ICC all-rounder rankings in all three formats several times since 2009.
“Definitely I will have some sleepless nights seeing the recent incidents of my comrade of 13 years,” Mortaza, Bangladesh’s ODI captain, posted on his Facebook page. “But I can also sleep in peace soon knowing full well that he will lead us to the 2023 World Cup. Because the name is Shakib Al Hasan.”
Rahim, who has been playing cricket for almost all of his career with Shakib, said he will support Shakib’s bid to come back stronger.
“Age level, international [cricket]... over 18 years of playing together. Very hard even thinking about playing without you on the field. Hoping that you comeback [sic] soon like a champ. You always have my support and the whole of Bangladesh. Stay strong, Inshallah,” Rahim posted on Instagram.
Bangladesh named Mahmudullah Riyad and Mominul Haque as their Twenty20 and Test captains after Shakib’s ban.
Subject to him satisfying the conditions in respect of the suspended part of the sanction, he will be free to resume international cricket on October 29, 2020.
The 32-year-old’s ban came as a blow to Bangladesh’s preparations for next month’s tour of India where the all-rounder was set to lead the team for a two-Test series and three T20 international matches.