Bangladesh captain Shakib al-Hasan has been banned from all cricket for two years, with one year suspended, after the all-rounder was found to have breached the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) anti-corruption code
The ICC said Shakib, a prolific run-scorer and the top all-rounder in the ICC’s one-day international rankings, had accepted three charges of failing to report “approaches he received to engage in corrupt conduct”.
Shakib, 32, has played 338 matches across all formats for Bangladesh, including 206 one day internationals and 56 Test matches.
He has scored more than 11,000 runs — including nine ODI centuries — and claimed more than 500 wickets across the three formats.
Shakib is the highest wicket taker in Bangladesh cricket history and has taken on a talismanic status in the country.
At the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England, Shakib finished as the third-highest run-scorer with 606 in eight matches at an average of 86.57, including two centuries — one against eventual world champions England in the group stage — and five 50s.
The ICC said in its statement that the player did not report two approaches he received during a tri-series involving Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in January 2018 and one more over a 2018 Indian Premier League match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab.
“I am obviously extremely sad to have been banned from the game I love,” Shakib said.
“I completely accept my sanction for not reporting the approaches.
“Like the majority of players and fans around the world, I want cricket to be a corruption free sport and I am looking forward to working with the ICC ACU (Anti-Corruption Unit) team to support their education program and ensure young players don’t make the same mistake I did.”
ICC head of integrity Alex Marshall said Shakib should have known better.
“Shakib al-Hasan is a highly experienced international cricketer. He has attended many education sessions and knows his obligations under the Code. He should have reported each of these approaches,” he said.
“Shakib has accepted his errors and cooperated fully with the investigation. He has offered to assist the integrity unit in future education, to help younger players to learn from his mistakes. I am happy to accept this offer.”
Shakib set to miss T20 World Cup
Shakib recently led a strike by Bangladesh’s cricketers, which they called off a week ago when the country’s cricket board accepted most of their demands including pay rises and other benefits.
BCB president Nazmul Hassan said the board was “shocked and extremely disappointed” that an experienced player like Shakib failed to report corrupt approaches on multiple occasions, but that they would support Shakib during his ban.
“We hope he will come back as a better and wiser cricketer and serve Bangladesh for many more years when his sanction will be over,” he added.
“During the suspension the BCB will continue to support his efforts at returning sto cricket.”
Not everyone was so forgiving though, with former England captain Michael Vaughan showing no sympathy.
Shakib will be free to resume playing international cricket on October 29, meaning he will almost certainly miss the upcoming T20 World Cup, which takes place in Australia from October 18 to November 15.
In his stead, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has appointed Mominul Haque as Test captain, while experienced all-rounder Mahmudullah will lead the T20 squad for the upcoming tour of India.
Bangladesh will face India in three T20 matches starting on Sunday. The two teams will also play a two-match Test series, including a first-ever day-night contest in Kolkata.