Could have been banned before World Cup: Shakib

Premier all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan said that there were chances of him being banned even before the 2019 ICC World Cup in England. The all-rounder served a year-long ban — that ended on October 29 — for failing to report corrupt approaches from a bookie. 

Shakib was the best performer for Bangladesh, who finished eighth in the World Cup last year. With five half-centuries and two tons, Shakib remained the cricket’s quadrennial event’s third-highest run-getter. In eight matches, he scored a total of 604 runs at a staggering average of 86.57 while taking 11 wickets. He became only the third batsmen in the event’s history to have crossed the 600-run mark in a single edition.   

And all this time, when Shakib was excelling at the biggest stage of cricket, he was doing so with an extra burden that only he knew about. He was already under an ongoing investigation by the ICC’s Anti Corruption Unit during that time and had been communicating with them on a regular basis from six months prior to the big event.

But the southpaw said it did not push him in doing well. 

“That incident [being investigated] had nothing to do with my performances in the World Cup. The investigation had begun in November or December [in 2018]. I could have been banned before the World Cup but that did not happen. But it never crossed my mind that I would have to do well just because I was being investigated. I had to play well in the World Cup as I could not do much in the previous editions. I had to do justice to the reputation that I had and my age was on my side — being at an age where athletes usually remain at the best of their form,” Shakib said while answering questions from fans and journalists around the globe on his YouTube channel Wednesday. 

Shakib went to the World Cup following a lean IPL for Sunrisers Hyderabad. He even had his mentor Mohammad Salahuddin summoned to help him practice and get back to the groove ahead of the World Cup. 

“It was very challenging [going to the World Cup knowing everything]. The investigation had been going for a while and I had been in regular contact with them [ACU]. It is never a good feeling for a player to have,” added Shakib.

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