Bangladesh’s star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, in a Facebook post in the early hours this morning, asked his fans to show calm and patience. His message comes after the International Cricket Council (ICC) banned him for two years on October 29 for breaching its anti-corruption code.
“To all my fans and well-wishers, let me start by saying that I have been touched and felt blessed by your unconditional support and affection during what has been a very difficult time for me and my family. In the last few days I have realised more than ever what it means to represent your country. On that note, I am requesting calm and patience from all my supporters who may have felt aggrieved at the sanction imposed on me,” read the post uploaded on Shakib’s verified Facebook page at around 1:00am.
Shakib had accepted the charges levelled by the ICC of not reporting three separate ‘corrupt approaches’ from a bookmaker named Deepak Aggarwal between January and April 2018.
Fans of Shakib, Bangladesh’s Test and T20I captain before the ban, had taken to social media to protest what they alleged was a conspiracy helmed by Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hassan, especially after Shakib’s leading role in a three-day players’ strike from October 21 to 23. Supporters were also aggrieved by the timing of the ban, on the eve of a difficult Test and T20I tour of India.
“I wish to make it very clear that the entire investigation by the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit was confidential and the BCB only came to know about it from me just a few days before the announcement of the sanction. From that point onwards, the BCB has been most supportive and understanding of my situation and I am grateful for that.
“I can understand why many people are offering to help and I really appreciate that. However, there is a process in place and I have accepted my ban because I felt that was the right thing to do. My entire focus now is on returning to the cricket field and playing for Bangladesh again in 2020. Until then keep me in your prayers and heart. Thank you,” Shakib wrote.
The second of the two years of his ban will be suspended, provided he does not repeat the offence over the next year and takes part in any education and/or rehabilitation programmes specified by the ICC.