Shakib Al Hasan, who has been banned for two years (one of those suspended), for failing to report corrupt approaches on numerous occasions, has released a statement on his official Facebook page regarding his ban. Shakib, who was banned by the International Cricket Council on Tuesday, has spoken up for the first time regarding the ban and has appealed to the Bangladesh cricket fans to be calm and patient. Following the ban, plenty of Bangladesh cricket supporters and journalists trended the hashtag #JusticeforShakib and many requested the ICC to reconsider the quantum of the ban imposed.
"I wish to make it very clear that the entire investigation by the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit was confidential and the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) only came to know about it from me just a few days before the announcement of the sanction. From that point onwards, the BCB has been most supportive and understanding of my situation and I am grateful for that. I can understand why many people are offering to help and I really appreciate that. However, there is a process in place and I have accepted my ban because I felt that was the right thing to do," Shakib said on his Facebook page.
The Bangladesh all-rounder thanked the support of the fans and reiterated his desire to be part of the team after the end of his ban which ends on October 2020. The ban, though, will effectively rule him out of Bangladesh's campaign for the ICC World T20 which will be played in Australia.
"I am requesting calm and patience from all my supporters who may have felt aggrieved at the sanction imposed on me. I have been touched and felt blessed by your unconditional support and affection during what has been a very difficult time for me and my family. In the last few days I have realised more than ever what it means to represent your country," Shakib said. The absence of Shakib for the series against India is a big blow for Bangladesh, who have never won a Twenty20 International or a Test against their neighbours. Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo admitted that the absence of Shakib will affect Bangladesh's performance in the series.
"He bats at No.3. Often, he opens the bowling, bowls first change, bowls four overs in every game, he is one of our leading batters. So you need to decide whether you replace the batsman or do you replace the bowler. Because you can't replace both as it is very difficult to get players who provide both skills. So you might find yourself short in some department and strengthened in one department," Domingo admitted in the pre-match presser in New Delhi ahead of the first T20I on Sunday.
However, Domingo admitted that Shakib had to pay the price for the mistake he committed. "He has been a big player for Bangladesh and is close friends with a lot of players. So it has obviously affected a few players. Obviously he has made a mistake and he is paying the price for it. There's not much we can control. Obviously it affects the team's performance but we need to be focused on the series and the World Cup (T20)," Domingo said.