• Sunday, Sep 27, 2020
  • Last Update : 08:44 am

‘We will welcome Shakib with open arms’

  • Published at 09:56 pm November 2nd, 2019
Mahmudullah and Shakib al Hasan

Shakib al Hasan was banned by the International Cricket Council for two years, with one year of that suspended, for failing to report three corrupt approaches by a listed bookie to take part in illegal activities

Bangladesh acting T20I captain Mahmudullah has said the bond and love between Shakib al Hasan and the remaining national team players remains the same, and they will welcome him back with open arms when his ban expires.

“We still love Shakib like the way we loved him before, and we will always love him. We have tremendous bonding with Shakib as teammates. After the expiration of Shakib’s ban, when he will make his comeback, we will welcome him in the dressing room with open arms,” Mahmudullah said in response to a question at the pre-match press conference at Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi.

Shakib was banned by the International Cricket Council for two years, with one year of that suspended, for failing to report three corrupt approaches by a listed bookie to take part in illegal activities.

“We all know Shakib has been a great performer for Bangladesh over the years, and one of the key players in our team. Despite what has happened with Shakib, we still have full support for him. He probably made a mistake, and did not commit a crime. In any case, that issue is in the past, and we are now focused on [today’s[ game,” Mahmudullah added.  

The acting captain admitted that Shakib’s absence would affect the team composition, as he is both a crucial top-order batsman and experienced bowler in the T20I format. 

However, Mahmudullah also said he is considering the star all-rounder’s absence as an opportunity for the other players, particularly youngsters, to show their talent.

“We are not considering Shakib’s absence as too much pressure. We need to perform well and fill the void left by him. Shakib’s absence is a good chance for every other player, including me, to step up,” Mahmudullah said. 

“I know replacing Shakib is very difficult. He is a great performer. He has been performing consistently for Bangladesh for the last 12 years. It is obviously not easy to cover his absence. It will definitely affect our team composition, as he is a world class all-rounder. But still we will try our best to make up for his absence.  It will also be a good opportunity for the younger players to show their skills,” he added.

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