Handling Shakib Al Hasan

Raisuddin Ahmed

As a cricket player and organiser, I have been following the career of Shakib Al Hasan closely ever since he faired in the under-15 Bangladesh Cricket Team in 2001. His performance for the under 15 team earned him a place in the under 19 team and eventually he was picked up for the national side in 2006. In consideration of his performance he became the main stay of the Bangladesh side and as he progressed in experience and tact he became number one world cricket player which position he could not hold for long for his own follies and bad manners.

Ever since he came into the limelight in the arena of cricket he has been a case of indiscipline. The management of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) because of his talent and utility for the team and popularity at home and abroad did not or could not take any strong punitive action against him. This inaction was due mainly to lack of professionalism in BCB where members, mostly had little or no cricketing background, either as players or administrators. The attitude of wrongdoing and indiscipline in Shakib has thus blown out of proportion owing to the failure of the management of the Board. This had a negative impact on other players in the team and they, also at times overstepped the mark.

Despicable audacity 
Shakib was made captain of the Bangladesh Team prematurely and this made him pompous and swollen-headed so much so that he misbehaved with important officials of the Board during Bangladesh’s Zimbabwe tour. Due to this he lost his captainship. Again, he had the audacity of making obscene gestures in front of the camera crew which was telecast throughout the cricketing world during the last visit of Sri Lanka Cricket Team in Bangladesh. This act was so despicable and devoid of civility that it created an uproar at home and abroad and the Board could not but take action against Sakib and he was suspended for 3 matches and fined Tk. 3,00,000.
He did not, however, learn from his mistakes or take these punishments seriously. He again misbehaved with the new head coach of BCB, Chandika Hathurasinghe as he advises Sakib to cut short his Caribbean Premier League (CPL) commitment and return home before 31st July for the Cricket Coaching Camp which was going to be organized in Dhaka for the West Indies tour of Bangladesh Cricket Team. Ignoring the request, he left for Caribbean without asking for permission from the Board. The Board, naturally, became infuriated for his flagrant disrespect and it called Shakib back home after he had reached London on way to Barbados for participating in CPL.
In this connection, Shakib claimed that he had verbal permission from the Chairman, Cricket Operation Committee, Akram Khan, a past Captain but the Board felt that Shakib should have obtained written permission before his departure. Shakib has been punished for his unauthorized departure and the Board in its last meeting held on July 7 handed him 6 months suspension which means he will miss West Indies tour and the home series against Zimbabwe. BCB also decided that he will not be given ‘no objection certificate’ to play in any kind of tournament overseas for 18 months. This, in other way means, that he will miss IPL, Big Bash and CPL tournaments organized by BCCI, Australian and West Indies Cricket Board respectively.

Interrupted power supply
It is also relevant here to say that the Board, in all fairness, should have inquired into the matter as to under what circumstances the Chairman of Cricket Operation Committee gave verbal permission to Shakib al Hassan to play in the CPL in face of the incoming West Indies tour. The Chairman, Operation Committee, it appears, is more interested in contracts related to cricket rather than cricket itself as he was involved, it is said, in obtaining contact for his family concerns for supply of generators to ensure uninterrupted power supply during the last T20 World Cap held at the Zahur Ahmed Stadium, Chittagong.
In two of the matches the stadium plunged into darkness causing frequent interruption during the matches due to malfunctioning of the generators. This drew criticism at home and abroad and the ICC was very critical about the matter. In all fairness the Board should have taken action for this wrong doing of the Chairman, Cricket Operation Committee, too.

Bypassing Disciplinary Committee
Question has been raised by many regarding the process of taking action against Shakib, bypassing the Disciplinary Committee of the Board. In all fairness the matter should have been referred to Disciplinary Committee and punishment should have been imposed on the basis of the Committee’s recommendation. It is now widely known that Shakib has made an appeal to the Board for review of his punishment already award to him. While talking to the press the President, BCB, stated that he is impressed by Shakib’s attitude over the last few days and he is impressed with the well written letter which was full of apology and promise for good behaviour in future. It appears that BCB Chairman Nazmul Hassan Papan has softened his attitude towards Shakib. Now the question that is bugging the cricket lovers mind is why action was taken without considering the pros and cons of the case which has created grounds for review. The authority should remember that no one is indispensable. Cavin Petersen, one of the best players of England, has been dropped from all 3 versions of England Cricket Team because he was undisciplined. Previously he was stripped of the captainship for indiscipline.
Shakib has to bear in mind that BCB has spent millions of taka to nurture and train him to refine his talent to come to the present stage. He should bear in mind that politeness is praiseworthy and insolence is audacious.

Source: Weekly Holiday

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