Shakib’s roller-coaster 2019
The 32-year-old Bangladeshi all-rounder, Shakib Al Hasan, has seen both extremes of fate within the first 10 months of this year. Right from being vice-captain of the side during World Cup where he finished with astounding numbers to taking up the charge as captain in Tests and T20 formats and now, in contrast, getting banned by ICC for two years for breaching the Anti-Corruption Code, the Bangladeshi has reached the peak and touched nadir within the last 10 months.
Now let us see the extreme phases that Shakib has gone through over the last few months, which has indeed been analogous to a roller-coaster ride.
Fortunes favor him
The left-handed all-rounder was in the news before the World Cup for demanding the number-three position to bat during the prestigious tournament. The demand was fulfilled and happened to be fruitful as well, as he ended up as the first batsman to score more than 600 runs and take 10 wickets in the group stage of the World Cup, thereby breaking Sachin Tendulkar’s record for most runs scored in the group stage. Though as a team, Bangladesh only ended up at 8th in the table, his contributions throughout the tournament kept his team in contention.
If not for Kane Williamson’s magic with the bat and brains throughout the World Cup, it would have been Shakib Al Hasan who received the player of the World Cup award.
Seeing his purple patch in the World Cup, the Bangladesh Cricket Board handed over the captaincy to Shakib Al Hasan in both Tests and T20s. The decision seemed well planned foreseeing the T20 World Cup and the ongoing World Test Championship. However, the veteran all-rounder felt the responsibility as an unwanted burden. He wanted the youngsters to take up the captaincy realms just like how he and Mushfiqur Rahim took it during the early stages of their career.
Though Shakib understood the need to get the team back into the track through his experience as a captain he was quoted saying the following where he empathized for his predecessor.
“When a player doesn't perform, he thinks more about himself than the team, which creates the problem. I think it happened in Mashrafe bhai's case.”
The tide started to change the other way over the last few weeks.The media started to criticise Shakib for various reasons. It all started two weeks back when the all-rounder raised his voice against the new BPL rules, especially against the rule to mandate a leg-spinner in each team. After slamming the BPL rules, he went on to lead the Bangladeshi cricketer’s strike for a long list comprising 11 demands like poor pay structure, NOC related, domestic remuneration and so on.
Cricketers Welfare Association of Bangladesh (CWAB) and Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) both came to a settlement quite swiftly within a couple of days satisfying most of the demands raised. The strike which brought even the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina into the discussion of compromising the player’s demands showcased the leadership quality of Shakib. But it didn't last long.
After an unforgettable phase as a player on the cusp of excelling as a skipper, the premium all-rounder of this era- currently first in ODIs, second in T20Is and third in Test ICC’s player’s rankings, is about to undergo an unimaginable phase of his career for the upcoming two years after being banned by ICC under Anti-Corruption Code.
According to Article 2.4.4
Failure to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches or invitations he received to engage in corrupt conduct – concerning Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe Tri-Series in January 2018 and IPL 2018.
Shakib readily accepted the charges put on him admitting his failures to report the bookie’s approaches made to him to provide inside information thereby putting an end to his prolific season. Only time will tell if he can rise from the ashes once the lengthy ban is over.
Also see – World Test Championship Schedule