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2 Opposing perspectives: Is Shakib Al Hasan’s ban justified?

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In the wake of the tragedy that recently hit Bangladeshi Cricket, Sheikh Hasina, the Bangladeshi Prime Minister, and the Bangladesh Cricket Board came out to lend their support to Bangladesh’s greatest ever cricketer, Shakib Al Hasan.

Shakib Al Hasan walks off the pitch
CC by Rushdi13 (contact)
 
While Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh was not directly involved in match-fixing or any other form of corruption, he must have known about the consequences for failing to report the advances made to him by the Indian bookmaker, Deepak Agarwal, who attempted to lure him to the wrong side of the law, on more than one occasion.
Two of our writers seem to be at odds when it comes to the 2-year ban, so we asked them to share their opposing perspectives on it.
The ICC, of course, must be asking themselves the same question, what was Shakib thinking when he had all the time in the world, and still failed to report Agarwal’s approach?
 
A summary of Shakib’s ban from ICC’s website goes something like this:
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has banned Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan from all cricket for two years, with one year of that suspended, after he accepted three charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code
 
The charges are as follows:
Article 2.4.4 – Failure to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches or invitations he received to engage in Corrupt Conduct – in relation to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe Tri-Series in January 2018 and/or the 2018 IPL
 
Article 2.4.4 – Failure to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches or invitations he received to engage in Corrupt Conduct – in relation to the second approach in respect of the Tri-Series in January 2018
 
Article 2.4.4 – Failure to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches or invitations he received to engage in Corrupt Conduct – in relation to an IPL 2018 match between Sunrisers Hyderabad v Kings XI Punjab on 26 April 2018
 
Two of our writers, Furqan ur Rehman, and Zushan Hashmi, seemed to be at odds when it comes to the 2-year ban, so we asked them to share their opposing perspectives on the ban.
Bangladesh cricket coach
Furqan ur Rehman:
 
It is definitely heartwarming to see the influx of support that Shakib has received from fans and pundits alike, but an incident of this enormity needs to be dealt with more seriously.
 
Shakib broke the law, clear and simple, and he needs to feel remorse over his doings, and be used as an example for Bangladeshi cricketers.
 
The statements by Bangladesh’s cricket authorities were mediocre at best because they will put the weight off the seriousness of the situation.
 
The rules are there for a reason, and the ICC’s rules are clear on this matter.
 
How can we forget the bans Steve Smith, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft received? Although their misconduct only copped a minor punishment in the eyes of the ICC, Cricket Australia (CA) took charge and handed them longer bans.
 
Once they had served their punishments, they were welcomed with open arms, but the CA did what was best to do in the aftermath, they remained silent.

 

READ: From Pheidippides to Eliud Kipchoge – How did the Marathon begin?

 
The more that words are said, the more they turn into a debate, and then we find ourselves in the midst of justifications, disagreements and arguments.
 
The ICC definitely did the right thing and when Shakib serves the ban, I am certain he will come back stronger, though the Bangladesh Cricket Board must take a different stance on the situation if they are to set an example of him, where they support the rules of cricket and are willing to accept the ban on their greatest player. My verdict – justified, period.
Shakib Al Hasan celebrates taking a wicket with Mashrafe Mortaza
Zushan Hashmi:
 
Let me be clear, no cricketer, or athlete, for that matter, is bigger than the laws of the game, let alone laws in general. No player, including Shakib should be allowed to walk free after enabling bookie attempts, essentially, what his decision to not report Aggarwal, has enabled. However, two years? That is a tad-bit excessive in my opinion.
 
We assume that cricketers are aware of rules and regulations, and I would like to hope and believe that they genuinely are. I can’t help but wonder though, was this simply an error on his part, or at the least, a misdemeanour?
 
The ICC rightfully banned the likes of Mohammed Aamir, Mohammed Asif and Salman Butt during the 2010 tour of England, but they cheated, clear and simple. They fixed games and tampered with the outcomes of the game for monetary benefits.
 
Shakib Al Hasan has not fixed a game, he has not tampered with outcomes, and most importantly, he rejected the bookie advances. His only fault – he did not report it to management! Does this warrant a 2-year ban? Even if it’s likely that he will return on the basis of the 1-year suspension, it may also mean that he will miss out on the ICC World T20 in Australia next year.
 
Shakib’s skills and talent most certainly mean that he will not fall down the pecking order upon his return to Bangladesh cricket, but a ban of this timeline is far too much of a punishment for what could be referred to as a relatively minor offence! My verdict – not at all justified!

Furqan is a marketing professional in the tech sector and an avid sports lover. He is a devout follower of cricket, football and tennis. You can follow him on Twitter.
Zushan Hashmi is a sports enthusiast who works in the policy space in Australia. He is an avid fan of climbing, football, cricket and all things sport. You can follow him here on Twitter.
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