Bangladesh cricket July 7, 2014

Shakib puts on brave face after suspension

Shakib Al Hasan trained with his team-mates as the BCB directors held their meeting in Mirpur, unaware of the massive punishment he was about to be hit with

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Isam: Shakib suspension is one of BCB's biggest decisions

At 2.25 pm on Monday afternoon, Shakib Al Hasan came to the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur and met the BCB president Nazmul Hasan to give a final explanation of his side of the events, after which he went to the dressing room to join his Bangladesh team-mates for training.

He was probably oblivious of what would transpire in the BCB conference room during the next couple of hours, as the board members decided to suspend the allrounder for six months, cancel his existing NOCs and not issue any new ones until the end of 2015.

Shakib was seen walking with Abdur Razzak from the dressing room to the adjacent National Cricket Academy ground eating a banana and chatting with his team-mates. He then hit the gym, ran a bit and a couple of hours later, stood outside the dressing room again, perhaps waiting for the verdict. When he received the phone call conveying the news, Shakib apparently looked despondent. Later, someone close to him described him as being "devastated" and "numb".

As reporters gathered near one of the entrances to the corridor that led to the dressing room, two guards stood outside to ensure no one went too far. The wait continued, and soon, many Bangladesh players walked out after their training had ended.

The captain Mushfiqur Rahim exited several minutes later, followed by Mahmudullah, Razzak, Sohag Gazi and the rest. They left the stadium soon after, but Mashrafe Mortaza stayed behind. The BCB's media manager Rabeed Imam then entered the dressing room, and came out 30 minutes later to tell the remaining journalists that Shakib would not be speaking to them.

Later, it emerged that Shakib had wanted to sit in the dressing room on his own. He had turned off his mobile phone, but spoke normally to whoever was near him. The overriding reaction of those who had seen him was that there was shock written all over Shakib's face.

Mortaza came out a bit later, saying Shakib was trying to take the decision in his stride, but it was too soon not to feel bad for him. "This is not the time to talk to him about this," he said.

Finally, Shakib emerged just as the sun had set. The time for Iftaar was nearing, and he walked out of the premises with Rabeed Imam. He would not speak to the media, but put on a brave face and smiled. He walked to his car, and when a TV reporter asked him to at least say "no comment", Shakib simply said "Khoda Hafez" (goodbye).

The road ahead of Shakib leads into unfamiliar territory. It is unclear whether he will appeal the BCB's decision, whether he had decided not to speak to the media, or whether the BCB had asked him not to. However, he did send out a series of tweets on Tuesday afternoon, thanking his fans for support and proclaiming his commitment to Bangladesh*.

With so many unanswered questions, only time will tell how strongly the BCB sticks to its decision, and how Shakib recovers from this setback.

*The story was updated with Shakib Al Hasan's tweet from Tuesday

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Vinod on July 9, 2014, 9:19 GMT

    the team needs such a player just as the player needs to be in the team. there are other financial or disciplinary ways of punishment. plucking him out of the team is going to damage the progress of the team apart from damaging the career of the player considering that he is the best player in the squad. i doubt about the integrity of the board although i believe that shakib should be punished.

  • Android on July 9, 2014, 7:34 GMT

    send BCB to the college, politics killing this country. best option for Bangladesh hire foreigners for the BCB and get rid of the each current member. Part of the problem is BCB, and player come second.

  • Dummy4 on July 9, 2014, 4:27 GMT

    We are always with you Shakib. I am really confused whether BCB is trying to correct the "attitude" problem of Shakib or to destroy his career. At this point Shakib should seriously think of retiring from all kinds of cricket with its head high. If he loves his cricket he can play as a free-lancer like Chris Gayle.

    I don"t know how BCB takes a hasty decision of suspending the best ever cricketer of Bangladesh. Other than Shakib there is no other player from Bangladesh side who is capable of playing in the big events. BCB has to think Bangladseh team perspective as well as punishing Shakib.

    Really sorry to see the roll of Akram Khan, our cricket hero, how he turns his back to Shakib.

  • Dummy4 on July 8, 2014, 23:36 GMT

    No one is bigger than the team. Shakib is undoubtedly the biggest player, and the biggest talent to emerge from Bangladesh. I'm a big fan of his skills, not least for his twin success in IPL for KKR. But his attitude has been an issue for a while now. This isn't the first transgression. In fact he has been given a lot of rope up until now. BCB needed to set an example for the youngsters. I'm not sure about the length of the punishment, since it cuts real close to WC 2015, but the Bangladesh fans angry about the verdict should get a reality check.

  • Dummy4 on July 8, 2014, 18:30 GMT

    we are always with you shakib no matter what the bcb will not be able to stick with this so called decision of theirs

  • mohammad on July 8, 2014, 15:57 GMT

    Abaa Have you ever heard the names of Kevin Pietersen, Shoaib Akhter, Shane Warne? They all were great players with discipline problem.For how long, they were banned? What's the point of disallowing Shakib him from playing in IPL 2015? Envious of his financial success? Mushfiq is the most arrogant in the team. Why he is not banned?

  • Dummy4 on July 8, 2014, 9:13 GMT

    The whole philosophy of punishment is being misunderstood. When your best player makes a mistake, and needs to be punished, is dropping him from the team the right solution?? You need him in the team to win matches for the nation. So, when you think, you are punishing him by dropping, you are actually punishing yourself, your team, and your nation, for the mistake of a player. Now, how can you punish a player, without punishing the team and the nation? A fine on the player would be enough, is'nt it??

  • dj on July 8, 2014, 8:48 GMT

    Its really unfortunate that it has come to this, but sadly the BCB needed to take a stance, should not tolerate any ill-discipline, and should definitely not ignore or sweep under the carpet these types of incidents. I would think that Shakib carries loads of pressure ON the field and off the field and it is probably unfair to say or even suggest, but high profile players somehow needs to realise that their actions causes reactions and consequences far greater than the normal person. He is so talented and I hope that he can find peace with the decision and find a suitable barrier through which he can still be the explosive and vibrant person that he is but within reason. I admire him for taking a stance and coming to the rescue of his wife and particularly woman. He sounds to be honest and speaks his mind and I like it about him... May it all work out of Shakib Al Hasan.

  • Dummy4 on July 8, 2014, 7:51 GMT

    What's happening to cricket?? KP, Shakib...

    Who's going to be the next No. 1 player in the team to be sacked?

  • Suj on July 8, 2014, 7:45 GMT

    If someone like Sakib can show this much arrogance and haughtiness, imagine how much attitude a Sachin or a Ponting or a Lara or a Kallis or a Warne or a Murali or an Akram could display? Instead they are humble and modest despite the gazillion runs/wickets they have taken over legendary careers ... And the majority of the Bangladesh public is angry with BCB about this! Unbelievable! Goes on to show their priorities! I mean you'd think that this chap has singlehandedly won them a few World Cups with the ruckus this has been causing! Totally unprofessional, immature behaviour this kind of nonsense will not help in a team game like cricket! Discipline is of utmost importance

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