Shakib Al Hasan: 'I made mistakes; I want everyone to learn from them'
Bangladesh allrounder says he has matured into someone who is calmer and "understands life better"
Shakib Al Hasan has admitted to having "made mistakes" that led to his ongoing ban from international cricket. In an interview on ESPNcricinfo's Cricketbaazi series, hosted by Deep Dasgupta, Shakib said he wanted to serve as a cautionary tale for other players.
Last October, Shakib accepted three charges of breaching the ICC anti-corruption code, for failing to report corrupt approaches in two tournaments in 2018: an ODI tri-series in January and an IPL match when he turned out for Sunrisers Hyderabad. He will be free to return to international cricket from October 29.
"You have to be honest," Shakib said. "You just can't lie to the people and pretend different things. Whatever happened has happened. People are bound to make mistakes. You are not 100%. The important thing is how well you can come back from those mistakes. You can tell other people not to make those mistakes. Tell them the path so that they never take those paths.
"It could have happened to someone else and I would have learned from him, but it happened to me so other people can learn from me. I wanted to be honest from the first day. I didn't hide anything from the guys when they were asking me questions. I will say the straightforward things. I made mistakes. It shouldn't happen for a player like me. I apologised for it, and I want to move forward, I want everyone to learn from it and never make these mistakes."
Shakib said he has seen many controversies ever since he was first made captain in 2009. He had trouble with the board chief, selectors and the media, mainly about selectorial decisions and not being made permanent captain between 2009 and 2010. He believes those experiences have changed him as a person over time.
"I think [it's] combination of both [controversy following him, and vice versa]. I got the responsibility so early in my career, I was bound to make mistakes. I was captain when I was 21. I made a lot of mistakes, and there are so many things that people think about me. Now I realise that it was my fault in some areas, and in some I was misunderstood. But I get it completely. It is part and parcel in the subcontinent.
"Of course I will try to minimise [my mistakes] as much as I can, but by the time I got married, and now I have two kids, I understand the game and life better. It has made me a calmer person than I was in my twenties. I have changed quite a lot. People won't see me doing a lot of mistakes now. My two daughters changed my life completely."
Shakib also spoke about his experience in the Bangladesh dressing room as captain, during a period when he had to lead other seniors like Mohammad Ashraful and Mashrafe Mortaza. Mashrafe and Shakib exchanged captaincy stints during a difficult phase for Bangladesh cricket over 18 months leading up to the 2011 World Cup.
Shakib also spoke about his experience in the Bangladesh dressing room as captain, during a period when he his team included the likes of Mohammad Ashraful and Mashrafe Mortaza, senior players and past leaders.Mortaza and Shakib exchanged captaincy stints during a difficult phase for Bangladesh cricket. Mortaza suffered from a fair few injuries between 2009 and 2010, which meant a young Shakib found himself taking charge in the middle of matches or series. BCB never named anyone captain for more than a series at a time, leaving Shakib fuming with several decisions. Even after he was named captain in 2011, he lasted only seven months after an indifferent World Cup campaign and series losses to Zimbabwe.
"I never had to face difficulties due to senior players," Shakib said. "It was never a problem. We were a team struggling to win consistently, so our focus was to improve our game. Off the field, there were always issues. If you say something in the media, it diverted into another direction. I feel that I needed those things in that time, and it helped me to bring me where I am now."
Shakib will likely return to international cricket during Bangladesh's proposed Test series against Sri Lanka in October.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84