The Bangladeshi cricket team’s captain, Shakib Al Hasan has been handed over a two-year ban from all forms of cricket by ICC for failing to report multiple approaches made by a bookie. A year of this punishment was suspended after he accepted three charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.
ICC, during the course of interviews with Shakib, earlier this years found two different instances of bookie contact over WhatsApp. The first one in mid-November 2017 before the tri-series between Bangladesh, Srilanka, and Zimbabwe hosted by Bangladesh.
In January 2018, he participated in the said ODI tri-series, where he and Dinesh Aggarwal, the bookie, engaged in further WhatsApp conversations. On January 19, 2018, he received a WhatsApp message from Aggarwal congratulating him for being named man of the match in that day’s game. Aggarwal followed this message with one saying, “Do we work in this or I wait till the IPL”.
He got engaged in another conversation with the same bookie in January 2018, where the bookie asked information about the ongoing tri-series. Shakib confirmed being approached approach to him to provide inside information, saying “Bro anything in this series?”
Later, in April 2018, Shakib received another message from the same bookie while playing an IPL game between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab. Aggarwal messaged him to check whether a particular player was going to be playing in the game that day, i.e. again asking for inside information.
Shakib continued to discuss bitcoins, dollar accounts and asked Shakib for his dollar account details. Though, he told Aggarwal that he wanted to “Meet him first”. During this conversation, there were a lot of deleted WhatsApp messages, which Shakib confirmed contained requests from Aggarwal for inside information.
Shakib failed to report all these instances to ACU or any other anti-corruption activity. An official ICC release stated the following as the charges against Shakib:
- Article 2.4.4 – Failure to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches or invitations he received to engage in Corrupt Conduct – in relation to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe Tri-Series in January 2018 and / or the 2018 IPL
- Article 2.4.4 – Failure to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches or invitations he received to engage in Corrupt Conduct – in relation to the second approach in respect of the Tri-Series in January 2018
- Article 2.4.4 – Failure to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches or invitations he received to engage in Corrupt Conduct – in relation to an IPL 2018 match between Sunrisers Hyderabad v Kings XI Punjab on 26 April 2018
Shakib, who is one of the premier Bangladeshi players and is among their all-time greats, is currently at No. 3, No. 1 and No. 2 in the ICC allrounders’ rankings for Tests, ODIs and T20Is respectively.
He will be available to play any form of cricket after 29 October 2020 and will not be available to play in the upcoming all-important India-Bangladesh series as well as the World T20 to be held in Australia next year.
The Indian series was already under a lot of doubts after the recent strike by the cricketers seeking a pay hike. BCB President Najmul Hussain said that he was only made aware of the incident by Shakib after the players’ strike was withdrawn, and informed the board about the punishment after the announcement. Meanwhile, Momin-Ul Haque has been appointed as the captain of the Test team. Other senior players like Masharfe Murtaza and Tamim Iqbal have already chosen not to play for the country in the series.