When Shakib Al Hasan, the world’s No.1 ranked ODI all-rounder, was banned for two years for breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code, it came as a major shock to the cricketing world, but the reaction has been far from uniform across the globe.
While accepting that Shakib was in the wrong, the Bangladesh Cricket Board said they would stand by their premier player. There was support as well from the Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina, and from senior teammates Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah.
“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.”
Age level.. international… over 18 years of playing cricket together… very sad to even think about playing without…
Outside of Bangladesh, however, there was little sympathy. Michael Vaughan and Ramiz Raja were among those condoning of ICC’s non-tolerant approach against corruption, with the former even suggesting the ICC didn’t go far enough in their punishment.
No sympathy what’s so ever for Shakib Al Hasan … Non what’s so ever … In this era the players get briefed all the time about what they can & cant do and what that have to report straight away … 2 yrs isn’t enough … Should have been longer …
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) October 29, 2019
So Shakib Al Hasan’s ban has a lesson for all sports lovers and sportsmen: if you disregard the game and try to become bigger than the game by sidetracking the laid rules and protocols then be ready for a fantastic fall! Sad.
— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) October 29, 2019
There were some voices offering Shakib consolation.
Classy response by Shakib! Great words and messages. Best of luck to him. Everyone from players, coaches, umpires and even commentators… MUST report if they feel they have had an approach.. no matter how silly it might sound. #thatstherules
— Dean Jones AM (@ProfDeano) October 30, 2019
Those reporting on the sport had some hard-hitting questions to ask as well.
A lot of people on my timeline are saying that the verdict against Shakib is too harsh. On the contrary, he is very lucky to get a suspended sentence which means he can be back in a year.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 29, 2019
While I felt two years was harsh the more I read and think I have to say Shakib must have known what he was doing and that withholding info wasn’t an inadvertent act but rather a very deliberate one. Plain stupid from a player of his stature.
— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) October 30, 2019
It won’t make huge news in Australia but this is a massive disappointment. Shakib Al Hasan is one of the best allrounders in the world. He’ll miss at least the first half of the T20 World Cup out here and a Test series vs Aus. Massive, massive blow for rising Bangladesh cricket. https://t.co/YVsU29RfQI
— Scott Bailey (@ScottBaileyAAP) October 29, 2019
What do you make of Shakib’s actions and the punishment he’s been given? Let us know in the comments for a chance to be featured in the next issue of Wisden Cricket Monthly, and potentially win a bottle of Orbital whiskey.