Former Bangladesh cricketer Mohammad Ashraful said that he was surprised with banned cricketer Shakib Al Hasan's decision to not report the corrupt approaches made by a bookie earlier. Shakib was handed a two-year ban from the ICC along with a one-year suspension, denting Bangladesh's chances just before their tour to India. Shakib Al Hasan led the players' protest against the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) earlier after which he appeared to have a fall-out with the board. As Shakib's ban was announced by ICC, the BCB along with Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina offered their support to Shakib and vowed that he would make a stronger return to the game after his ban.
In an interview with a publication, the former Bangladesh cricketer said that he was surprised that a man of Shakib's stature did not report the corrupt approach and said that Shakib should have been more careful, especially when there were multiple attempts made by the bookie. Mohammad Ashraful, who was banned for eight years from international cricket for match-fixing, felt that Shakib's ban could hurt Bangladesh's chances against India and in the T20 World Cup next year. Citing his own case, Mohammad Ashraful said that he had learnt it the hard way and said that the players should always remain alert towards such corrupt approaches.
Bangladesh's wicketkeeper took to his Facebook handle to post a heartwarming message for Shakib. Recounting the years spent with Shakib on the field, Mushfiqur Rahim said that he could not help but feel sad to play without Shakib on the field. Expressing his support for Shakib, Mushfiqur Rahim hoped that Shakib would make a comeback soon and like a champion.
The ban comes as a huge blow for Bangladesh cricket ahead of their much-anticipated tour of India, which comprises three T20 Internationals and two Tests, beginning with the shortest format games on November 3. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), however, said that doors will be opened for Shakib once his ban ends. "We hope he will come back as a better and wiser cricketer and serve Bangladesh for many more years when his sanction will be over," BCB said in a statement. "During the suspension, the BCB will continue to support his efforts at returning to cricket. "The BCB respects the ICC's decision and shares similar sentiments against corruption in cricket."