Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful was left in shock once news of Shakib Al Hasan’s ban broke. Ashraful, who returned to playing first-class cricket after his five-year ban (of which two years are suspended) for match-fixing in 2013 during the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), believes the next 12 months will be difficult for Shakib.
“Our cases are different; he didn’t inform the fixing approaches to authorities, while I was fully involved in match-fixing,” he told ESPNCricinfo on Thursday.
“But this is going to be a shock to the system. We love playing cricket. What Shakib is going through is hard to explain in words. I think there shouldn’t be too much news about him. Dealing with so much news was hard (for me).”
Shakib was banned by the ICC for failing to report corrupt practices on three occasions. Ashraful, 35, said he felt sad for seeing a fellow player suffer a similar fate. “I had the belief that no Bangladeshi cricketer would get into this kind of trouble after me,” he said.
“We have very different cases, but still the punishment is to stay away from cricket. I felt bad. Shakib is the No. 1 all-rounder in the world. He is our best player. He plays franchise leagues. When I say Shakib made his mistake, I think he didn’t take it (reporting approaches) too seriously. What also happens now is that everyone will be alert with these approaches. What to do when there’s an approach. Nobody should make this mistake. We could never imagine that Shakib would make this mistake,” he added.
Shakib accepted the two-year ban, of which one year was suspended. The 32-year-old allrounder will be free to resume international cricket on October 29, 2020.