Bangladesh cricket is currently going through one of its darkest phases after the International Cricket Council (ICC) handed Shakib Al Hasan with a backdated two-year suspension. The Jessore-born breached ICC’s Code of Conduct three times where he didn’t inform the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) about the approaches made by a bookie Deepak Aggarwal. He can now return on October 29, 2020.
The southpaw will not only miss the 2020 IPL, but also the T20 World Cup in Australia. Amidst the harsh times, Mohammad Ashraful, the former Bangladesh skipper, also had some words about the Tigers’ premier all-round player. Back in 2014, Ashraful was slapped with an eight-year ban after he admitted his guilt to match-fixing in the 2013 edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
It was then reduced to five years (two years suspended) and he returned to playing domestic cricket earlier this year. The veteran spoke about Shakib Al Hasan even as he reminisced the scandal he was involved into. “Our cases are different; he didn’t inform the fixing approaches to authorities, while I was fully involved in match-fixing,” Ashraful was quoted as saying to ESPNcricinfo.
We could never imagine that Shakib Al Hasan would make this mistake
Having already gone through a tough phase, Ashraful understands that it won’t be easy for Shakib in the next one year. “But this is going to be a shock to the system. We love playing cricket. What Shakib is going through is hard to explain in words. I think there shouldn’t be too much news about him. Dealing with so much news was hard [for me],” the Dhaka-born stated.
On the day when Shakib was banned, Ashraful scored an unbeaten 150, playing for the Barisal Division against Dhaka Metropolis in the National Cricket League (NCL). The 35-year-old feels that after Shakib’s case, cricketers will be on their toes regarding such approaches from bookies.
Ashraful also found it tough to comprehend that an enigmatic player like Shakib made the error. “I felt bad. Shakib is the No. 1 allrounder in the world. He is our best player. He plays franchise leagues. When I say Shakib made his mistake, I think he didn’t take it too seriously.
What also happens now is that everyone will be alert with these approaches. What to do when there’s an approach. Nobody should make this mistake. We could never imagine that Shakib would make this mistake,” Ashraful added.
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