Snappy Q&As with the players

Shakib Al Hasan

'I like football more than cricket'

Is the world's top allrounder trapped in the wrong sport? Hear it from the man himself

Interview by Nagraj Gollapudi

May 21, 2012

Comments: 105 | Text size: A | A

Shakib Al Hasan strokes one down the ground, Bangladesh v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Mirpur, 1st day, December 17, 2011
Shakib Al Hasan: give him a hundred any day © AFP
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Players/Officials: Shakib Al Hasan
Teams: Bangladesh

What is the secret to being the best allrounder in the world?
Keep working hard, keep doing the right things, and try and contribute to your team.

You spent a lot of your teenage years at boarding school. What are the advantages of staying away from home?
You become independent because you have to do lots of things by yourself. If you are home, your family will try and do it all for you.

Did you ever cook for your parents when they came to visit you in Dhaka?
I can only cook omelettes. That is the best I can do.

Tell us something we don't know about you.
I always say what is in my heart. I try to control myself but on certain occasions I can't hold it in. I am very emotional.

Has there been a time when you lost your temper while captaining Bangladesh?
I remember during the 2011 World Cup, I made some comments against some former Bangladesh players who were critical of me. I reacted strongly. I do regret that now. At that moment it felt like the right thing, but I have grown up now, I think differently.

Five-for or a hundred?
When I got the seven-wicket haul against New Zealand in Chittagong, I was ecstatic. But I will always put a hundred over a five-for because I do not need to work hard on my bowling. That is not the case when it comes to batting.

Do you have a hobby outside of cricket?
I like football more than cricket, seriously. I am football-crazy. I would stay up late to follow soccer in Europe. Barcelona, always. If the team hotels do not have football on TV, I will follow it on the internet. I have never been to Camp Nou yet. Maybe next year. I would like to watch Barca play Real Madrid.

Your nickname is Moyna (after the bird, the mynah). Who gave it?
I was at the High Performance Centre, where most players graduate into the Bangladesh team. Once, during a camp, Naeem Islam, one of my senior Bangladesh team-mates, started calling me Moyna for no particular reason. Tamim Iqbal (Petla - paunchy) and Mushfiqur Rehman (Batul - short) have funnier nicknames than mine.

Recently you came to an Asia Cup press conference in a clown hat. What was that all about?
Someone from the crowd threw me the hat after we made the final. The press conference came immediately after the victory ride. The next match, there were so many fans with similar hats in the ground.

Do you agree the Bangladeshi fan is the most emotional in the cricketing world?
Both India and Bangladesh have highly emotional fans.

What's the one question the media should be banned from asking you?
What will happen in tomorrow's match?

What is one thing you can teach Shahrukh Khan?
Perhaps I can teach him how to spin the ball. But I am a little shy in his presence because I don't know what exactly to say.

Is it true that your fans have sent you marriage proposals in blood?
It has happened once or twice. I thought the woman must be really mad. Once, I was in a restaurant, and a lady fan sent me a love letter on a piece of tissue. I did not know who she was, as I did not see her.

Is there a match from the past where you wanted to be the player who turned the game on its head?
Either of the innings played by Gautam Gambhir or MS Dhoni for India during the 2011 World Cup final in Mumbai against Sri Lanka. The occasion was such that you couldn't express it in words. They absorbed the pressure and showed they were capable of playing such an innings. I would have loved to perform in such a situation.

What's the one thing tourists should always do in Bangladesh?
Never leave before tasting shorshey ilish, which is an amazing fish dish.

What Olympic sport would you buy a ticket to watch?
The 100 metres final. I don't have any tickets yet for the London Olympics, but if I go there I know someone will help me get in.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Praxis on (May 23, 2012, 12:43 GMT)

The hype is justified somewhat as Shakib is the first Bangladeshi cricketer to reach the top of the ICC rankings. But I fear we are going to the common subcontinental way of idolizing a sportsman & slowly bringing in the kind of fanaticism that we are better off without. Our cricket is still at an early stage & surely we will see much more success & few more cricketers like Shakib in the future. So it would be very nice if we Bangladeshi fans can start a tradition of sensibility & enjoy this game.

Posted by Sharif_Islam on (May 23, 2012, 2:28 GMT)

o my dear fellows, plz dont say shakib ''our shakib'' any more. he has crossed that boundary. he is playing for international cricket. we all dont like KKR! he is theirs, ok! plz accpet his internationalization. remember he is the number 1 all rounder of the world. and for last couple of year. it's not really fun, okay? who else was in that position for that long? go man. u have miles to go.

Posted by   on (May 22, 2012, 20:04 GMT)

It's all about our SHAKIB AL HASAN the real great hero.

Posted by   on (May 22, 2012, 13:58 GMT)

kip it up bro ..we r ri8 behind matter u fail or win ..we just love u ..

Posted by Nealshahriar on (May 22, 2012, 10:39 GMT)

@legaleagle,if u hate him why the hell did u read his interview

Posted by Himmel on (May 22, 2012, 10:36 GMT)

I have feeling that Sakib will be the match winning factor against DD today because slowness of the Pune pitch suit him more than any other players.

Posted by Nealshahriar on (May 22, 2012, 10:35 GMT)

@legaleagle o yeah,cant he get tickets??its his headache,and if u dont like him,why the hell r u reading his interview?????

Posted by   on (May 22, 2012, 8:02 GMT)

Keep it up. Shakib Al Hasan .........

Posted by   on (May 22, 2012, 7:25 GMT)

to surlysynic

Sakib has two full skills--batting and bowling-- instead of two half skills like youfuf pathan and many others.

Posted by   on (May 22, 2012, 7:14 GMT)

Shakib Is A Very Good Player, Its ICC Rankings Folks ... He is At The Top Of the Table in All-Rounder List. @ Khaled_Shahed We Indians accept the fact at Present Situation, who told you we don't ? Remember As A Player of KKR when he hits a SIX or takes Up Wkts, Its Indian Fans Cheering Up For Him.

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