Shakib Al Hasan: One-year ban a 'blessing in disguise'

The Bangladesh all-rounder serves out his one-year ban handed to him by the ICC for failing to report corrupt approaches.

Shakib Al Hasan was determined to "reach where I've left." - GETTY IMAGES

Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has termed the one-year ban he served for failing to report corrupt approaches a “blessing in disguise.” With the ban having been served, he is now free to play international cricket.

Shakib was handed a two-year ban, one year suspended, by the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit on October 29 last year, for not reporting multiple corrupt approaches by an Indian bookmaker.

“It helped me in many ways and mostly in positive ways. Lot of doors opened for me and I can think about life differently, it’s a blessing in disguise. I don’t regret this one year,” Shakib said in a video posted on his official YouTube channel.

'Much more matured'

“When a man comes back from this situation he is much more matured. Now I think differently than before and it will surely help me in my life.”

The 33-year-old is among 113 cricketers who will go through a fitness test on November 9 and 10 ahead of the upcoming Bangabandhu T20 tournament. Asked if his team-mates will doubt him, Shakib said: “It’s a difficult question because I am not sure what is going through anyone’s mind. They can doubt me or have no trust in me and I don’t disapprove [of] it totally.

“But as I have spoken with almost everyone I did not feel it that way. I think they will believe me like the way they used to do but as you said anyone can have doubt over me at some corner of his mind because it is such a thing.”

On his comeback, Shakib said he is determined to “reach where I have left.”

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“I want to repay you back for all the support. The fans were behind me more than my expectations. Whenever I will play, the only thing that will come to my mind is how I can repay them back,” he said.

'Uncomfortable situation'

Shakib had become the first player in the history of World Cup to score 500 runs and pick 10-plus wickets in a single edition last year.

He said it was “really challenging” to perform in the World Cup as he was under the ICC scanner and was constantly in touch with the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) for the investigation, making it “an uncomfortable situation.”

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“Certainly it was not a nice feeling to go to bed with. I was assuming that something might happen and there were times when I felt nothing might happen,” he recalled.

“[However] that investigation had nothing to do with my performance in the World Cup as the investigation started in November/December so I could have been banned before the World Cup. I had a desire to do well in the World Cup as I could not perform according to my reputation on the world stage,” he said.

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