Shakib Al Hasan has come to the realisation that signing a contract with a betting company was a mistake and promised that it will never happen again, Bangladesh Cricket Board cricket operations chairman Jalal Yunus says.
The board handed the allrounder Twenty20 captaincy after he gave his word, Yunus said on Saturday.
Shakib, who is also Bangladesh’s skipper in the longest format, promoted BetWinner News on his official Facebook page earlier this month, touching off a storm of controversy. It prompted the board to issue a show-cause notice against him.
After Shakib delayed his response, BCB President Nazmul Hassan on Thursday warned that if he did not cancel his contract with BetWinner, it would spell the end of his cricket career.
Later that day, Shakib confirmed to the board in writing that he had cancelled his contract with BetWinner News. The 35-year old returned from holiday to the United States on Friday night.
After the board officials held a meeting the following day, Yunus announced that Shakib will lead the Tigers in the T20 World Cup and all the 20-over games in the lead-up to the showpiece event.
On why the board put someone so muddled in controversy in charge, Yunus said, “We talked about this a lot. Shakib has realised his mistake and that he shouldn’t have done it. Shakib is a crucial cricketer for us. We took the decision [about captaincy] in a board meeting earlier.”
“Shakib told us in front of the president that he erroneously endorsed [BetWinner News] thinking it was a [news portal]. He did end it [the contract] after we explained the problem to him. ”
Yunus added that Shakib claimed that he had been “misled” about the contract.
Shakib breached another code of conduct which requires all players to inform the board about their sponsorship deals. Shakib did not let the board know. Yunus said this particular issue will be “discussed in the next meeting”.
When asked why the board went with Shakib as captain though he broke another law, Yunus stuck with his previous explanation.
“Our logic is that he is our best cricketer and we own him. When he admitted his mistake, we accepted it. He also accepted our demand of never making these mistakes again.”
As good a player as he is, Shakib has been at the centre of countless controversies on and off the field throughout his career. He faced consequences in many cases, and got away with it at times.
Shakib was Bangladesh’s Test and T20 captain in 2019 before the International Cricket Council slapped him with a two-year ban for failing to report an approach from a bookie. Shakib getting involved in any gambling-related affairs after that was unthinkable for many.
On whether the board’s leniency towards him borders on the extreme, Yunus said: “Actually something like this should not be excused. But in the interest of the team… Hopefully, he won’t do anything like this again.”