Bangladesh veteran Shakib Al Hasan has become only the third all-rounder in the history of international cricket to complete the rare double of 10,000 runs and 500 wickets. The 31-year old attained the milestone during the third T20I against Afghanistan at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Dehradun on Thursday.
Prior to the 3-match T20I series against the rapidly rising Afghanistan side, Shakib had needed just two wickets to reach the 500-mark across all formats of international cricket combined. After dismissing wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Shahzad in the opening match, the left-arm spinner went wicket-less in the second game.
During the final match of the series, Shakib accounted for Najibullah Zadran in the first ball of his last over. In doing so, he became the 32nd bowler to complete the landmark of 500 wickets across Tests, ODIs and T20Is combined.
Having also scored 10,102 runs in international cricket, Shakib joined an elite all-rounder list containing Jacques Kallis and Shahid Afridi. While the former South African stalwart as well as the flamboyant Pakistani star required more than 500 international matches each, the southpaw has completed the double of 10,000 runs and 500 wickets in his 302nd match for Bangladesh.
Shakib made his international debut as a precocious 19-year old during the fifth ODI in Bangladesh's tour of Zimbabwe in 2006. The all-rounder entered the T20I arena later that year against the same opponents at Khulna.
The left-hander's 86-ball 53 played a crucial role in Bangladesh's historic victory over India at the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean. In the aftermath of the tournament, Shakib got the opportunity to make his Test debut against the visiting Indian team at Chittagong.
Since then, the Jessore-born cricketer has continued to grow in stature with almost every season at the highest level. Having had multiple spells as Bangladesh captain, Shakib returned to the helm towards the end of 2017. While Mashrafe Mortaza remains the ODI skipper, the left-arm spinner leads his country in both Tests and T20Is.
Upon overseeing chastening defeats in the first two matches which enabled Afghanistan to surge to an unassailable 2-0 lead in the 3-match T20I series, Shakib's captaincy drew public criticism from Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hassan.
In a series that has not offered much to cheer for Bangladesh thus far, their talisman all-rounder's impressive personal achievement should come across as a source of happiness and inspiration to the cricket crazy populace in the country.
While Kallis scored a gargantuan 25,534 runs (fifth highest of all-time) and picked 577 wickets in a legendary career for the Proteas, Afridi walloped 11,196 runs at mostly frenetic pace aside from accounting for 541 wickets with his accurate leg-spin.