Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has come out in support of star all-rounder Shakib-al-Hasan, saying the cricketer has committed a mistake but has realised his fault. Shakib was handed a two-year suspension by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for not reporting corrupt approaches made to him by local bookies.

The 32-year-old accepted three charges of ICC Anti-Corruption Code due to which his ban has been shortened by one year. Under the provisions of the code, Shakib chose to admit the charges and agreed to the sanction with the ICC in lieu of an Anti-Corruption Tribunal hearing. The all-rounder will be free to resume international cricket on October 29, 2020.

“It’s clear that Shakib has made a mistake and he’s realised that,” Hasina was quoted as saying by bdnews24.com. “There’s nothing much the government can do about the ICC’s decision but Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will stand by him,” she added.

Following ICC’s decision, Shakib said, “I am obviously extremely sad to have been banned from the game I love, but I completely accept my sanction for not reporting the approaches.”

“Like the majority of players and fans around the world, I want cricket to be a corruption-free sport and I am looking forward to working with the ICC ACU team to support their education programme and ensure young players don’t make the same mistake I did.”

The one-year ban will keep Shakib out from next year’s Indian Premier League (IPL). He will also miss out on the World T20 to be held in Australia from October 18 to November 15.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has also offered support to the suspended cricketer. “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. During the suspension the BCB will continue to support his efforts at returning to cricket,” BCB President Nazmul Hassan said in an official statement.

The ban comes as a huge blow for Bangladesh ahead of their much-anticipated tour of India, which comprises three T20Is and two Tests, beginning November 3.

Mahmudullah will lead Bangladesh in the T20Is whereas Mominul Haque will be leading the Test side against India.