Bangladesh authorities on Tuesday promised full support for beleaguered national cricketer Sakib Al Hasan after he was banned by the International Cricket Council for two years for failure to report corrupt approach.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina led the support for Sakib saying that the Bangladesh Cricket Board will always be with Sakib and will help him in every way.
‘Match fixers contact with cricketers. His mistake was that when he was contacted he didn’t give it too much importance. He didn’t inform it to the ICC,’ Hasina said at a press conference at her official residence Gano bhaban.
‘According to the rule, he should have informed them instantly. This was his mistake. If the ICC takes steps, there is not too much for us to do,’ Hasina said.
‘He is our country’s cricketer and as a player he has a position. He made a mistake, that’s true. He realises his mistake too. And the BCB has said that they will stay beside him. We can’t really do much more than that,’ she added.
The ICC handed the ban as he failed to report full details of two corrupt approaches during a home series in January 2018 and a third approach before an Indian Premier League match of his side Sunrisers Hyderabad in April in the same year.
The ban will remain on Sakib until October 29, 2020, effectively ruling him out from the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in Australia next year.
The BCB sources say Anti-Corruption Unit of the ICC took a lead of corrupt approaches made to him by suspected Indian bookie Deepak Agarwal and interviewed Sakib twice this year as part of their investigation.
The ACU officials also checked the call list of wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim but found nothing significant, said a BCB source.
The BCB praised Sakib for cooperating during the investigation and offered support for him.
‘Sakib told me about the matter on the day when the strike of the players ended. He should not be broken down and we are beside Sakib in the matter. I hope he will comeback in the field soon,’ BCB president Nazmul Hasan told reporters in an impromptu press briefing.
Nazmul regretted that Sakib’s suspension came at a time when another senior cricketer Mashrafee bin Murtaza is on the verge of retirement.
‘Nothing can be more shocking than this. We have no substitute of two cricketers. One is Mashrafee and the other one is Sakib. It’s really a shocking incident that he can’t play,’ he said.
‘I became angry when I first heard about it and asked why he didn’t inform me. He accepted his fault. I think his supporting ACU is the bigger thing,’ added Nazmul.
The suspension against Sakib came at a time when he was at a loggerhead with the BCB after leading a players’ strike last week for better pay.
They ended the strike three days later after the BCB accepted most of the demands.
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