So what if Shakib Al Hasan cannot play cricket for one year? A sportsman of his caliber cannot be kept out of field for too long. The superstar of Bangladesh cricket, Shakib, who was banned by the ICC for failing to report corrupt charges, put on his soccer shoes and turned up for a football match in Dhaka.
Shakib, the No. 1 allrounder in the world, who became the first cricketer to score over 600 runs and pick up 10 wickets in a single edition of the World Cup, represented a team called Footy Hags in an exhibition match against the Korean Expat Team at Dhaka’s Bangladesh Army Stadium.
“We played 11 a side on a full size pitch at the Army Stadium against the Korean Expat team today. We won 3-2. Good to have Shakib Al Hasan back in the Footy Hags Team,” Footy Hags said on their Facebook post.
Riyad Shahir Ahmed Husain, who played alongside teammate Shakib in the game, shared some pictures with an almost identical caption.
Last month, the ICC banned Shakib from all forms of cricket for two years (suspended for one year), after he failed to report incidents of being approached by bookies to fix matches.
He accepted three charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code, which included not reporting approaches in relation to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe Tri-Series during 2018 as well as the Indian Premier League (IPL).
In a release, the ICC stated that if Shakib accepted the conditions of the suspended part of the sanction, he would be free to resume international cricket in October 2020.
In his statement accepting the ICC ban, 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. The ICC ACU [anti-corruption unit] is reliant on players to play a central part in the fight against corruption and I didn’t do my duty in this instance.
“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.”