Shakib al Hasan’s return will bolster Bangladesh © Getty Images
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) decision to reduce the suspension imposed on all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan was warmly welcomed by their fans and followers. But is it a desperate move by BCB, and how beneficial Shakib’s early return will be for Bangladesh cricket? Sandipan Banerjee explores.
If you are a supporter of Bangladesh cricket, you have reasons to be happy. Shakib, the top-ranked Test all-rounder, will be available for selection in the national team, after September 15. While the move seems to be beneficial for the national side, it also raises the question of why BCB changed their mind? From an outset it looks like a desperate move keeping the struggles of the Bangladesh tea.
It has been a dreadful year for Bangladesh cricket. They have won nothing in Tests and One-day Internationals (ODIs) so far; their Asia Cup 2014 and ICC World T20 2014 campaigns (both on home soil) were forgettable to say the least; they even lost to teams like Afghanistan and Hong Kong; and without their best player Shakib on the West Indies tour, Mushfiqur’s team has looked like a misfiring unit.
In recent past we have seen players being recalled after being suspended over disciplinary issues. Kevin Petersen and Chris Gayle in 2012 are perfect examples. Recalling both the key players were desperate measures from their respective boards. But in Shakib’s case, BCB is even more desperate: neither England nor West Indies were as handicapped as Bangladesh find themselves in absence of the star all-rounder.
The Bangladeshi all-rounder has some disciplinary issues (and was rightly banned), but a punishment of six-month ban was too strict for comfort, keeping in mind the ICC World Cup 2015 in mind. But Bangladesh’s abysmal show without Shakib has perhaps made BCB realise that their bench strength is not strong enough and they cannot afford to go without their star player. More so as the team is building-up towards ICC World Cup 2015.
BCB should also remove the restriction on him from participating in cricket competitions overseas until December 31, 2015. In the franchise-based overseas T20 leagues Shakib gets the chance to play competitive cricket where he can develop himself more as a cricketer, which would ultimately benefit Bangladesh cricket. But as they say, something is better than nothing. So what it seems is a conditional return, but it will eventually benefit him as well as their national side.
Shakib will be available to play for Bangladesh in the home series against Zimbabwe in October, Asian Games T20 Cricket in Incheon, South Korea beginning on September 19. Shakib will probably return in the Asian Games, where he will get good practice for the upcoming cricket season and the World Cup.
(Sandipan Banerjee is a reporter at Cricket Country. Cricket has been the biggest passion for him since his childhood. So, when it came to choosing his career, he chose to turn his passion into his profession. Apart from cricket he likes mountain trekking, river rafting and photography. His twitter handle is @im_sandipan)