Shakib al Hasan taking up "Rice bucket challenge". Photo courtesy: Facebook
Shakib al Hasan taking up “Rice bucket challenge”. Photo courtesy: Facebook

 

Sep 3, 2014

Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh all-rounder, took up the “Rice bucket challange”. He thanked his friend for nominating him and he also nominated his Facebook friends for the challenge.  Shakib updated his Facebook status after taking up the challenge.

 

He wrote in Facebook, “I think this is one of the longest status I have ever put up on Facebook. Hopefully you all will take your time and read it! I think many of you guys are familiar with the ice bucket challenge that’s going around which is the awareness of ALS. But recently Bangladesh have come up with a different attempt it’s call the “RICE BUCKET CHALLENGE” to help the unfortunate families who are living in poverty. I think it’s a very good idea and I thank whoever nominated me. I accepted the challenge and I nominee all my facebook friends and fans hopefully you guys will accept my challenge.”

 

Meanwhile, 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.