Bangladesh Cricket Board President Nazmul Hassan has warned Shakib Al Hasan that if he does not cancel his contract with the online betting website BetWinner, it will spell the end of his ties to cricket.
The BCB is yet to receive a response from the star allrounder after issuing a show-cause notice, and that is delaying the announcement of Bangladesh’s Asia Cup squad.
The deadline to announce the Asia Cup squad was on Aug 8. Nazmul said the squad will be announced on Friday or Saturday.
“We can’t think twice about Shakib in this case. The board’s stand is the same as it has been since the start. Since I joined the BCB, I’ve executed a zero-tolerance policy on [betting-related matters]. We had to exclude a player like Mohammad Ashraful because of this.”
“Now it all depends on [Shakib]. We sent him a letter and are supposed to get a response by today. It was due yesterday. He later said he’ll send it today. We’ll wait until today and then decide whether he’ll play or not.”
However, Shakib’s explanation matters little to the BCB. The board is completely against the contract with BetWinner and will drop him from the squad if does not end the deal.
“Until we get a satisfactory response to the letter we sent him, we don’t see any opportunity to include him in the team … let alone being the skipper. He has to leave it entirely. This is not up for discussion.”
The BCB boss made it clear Shakib’s omission will be not simply from the Asia Cup squad, but from Bangladesh cricket entirely.
Earlier this month, Shakib promoted BetWinner News on his official Facebook page along with a photo of him sporting the company’s jersey. The post read, “I am proud of the official partnership with BetWinner News.”
BetWinner News is an online portal linked to the betting website.
Nazmul continued: “We have no doubt that [BetWinner News] is a surrogate brand, they are the same. They are using different names, but because it is a betting company, they are related to gambling…”
“You can say BetWinner News is a news website. But BetWinner offers betting and gambling and it is related to that. We’ve clearly stated that there can be no such ties.”
“We are having to rethink our whole plan to select the Asia Cup squad and this is the only issue.”
“You must remember that no one is indispensable. It's true that we don’t have a cricketer like Shakib at the moment. But we’ve also lost many games with Shakib, and won many without him,” the BCB chief added.