Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan has been banned from all forms of cricket for two years, with one year of the sentence suspended on Tuesday, after the player was found to have breached the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Anti-Corruption code.
The ICC said Al Hasan, the national side’s captain and one of the highest run-scorers at the 2019 Cricket World Cup, had accepted three charges related to failing to report “approaches he received to engage in corrupt conduct”.
The 32-year-old was found to have failed to report two approaches he received during a tri-series between Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in January 2018, and one related to a 2018 Indian Premier League match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab.
If Al Hasan observes the suspension, he will be able to play again from October 29, 2020, the ICC said.
“I am obviously extremely sad to have been banned from the game I love, but I completely accept my sanction for not reporting the approaches,” Al Hasan said in a statement.
“The ICC ACU is reliant on players to play a central part in the fight against corruption and I didn’t do my duty in this instance.
“Like the majority of players and fans around the world, I want cricket to be a corruption-free sport and I am looking forward to working with the ICC ACU team to support their education programme and ensure young players don’t make the same mistake I did.”
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) was ready to “extend all sorts of cooperation to Al Hasan.”
However, the prime minister said that if the ICC were to take action against any player, her government would have nothing much to do with it.
The sanction has been perceived as a “big blow for the Bangladesh team” as it gears up for India tour early next month.
Former Bangladesh cricket team captain Gazi Ashraf Hossain Lipu said the team has lost a “strike bowler and a world-class top batsman.”
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Rakibul Hasan, another former Bangladeshi cricket team captain said Shakib is “irreplaceable” in the cricket team.
“He is one of world’s top all-rounders in all three formats. It’s not possible to replace him at this moment.”
“[But] it seems, he failed to inform the team management or the board about approaches from bookies three times. It is unexpected from an experienced player like him,” Rakibul added.
Shakib recently led a strike by Bangladesh’s cricketers, which they called off a week ago when the country’s cricket board accepted most of their demands, including pay raises and other benefits.
Additional reporting by Faisal Mahmud from Dhaka