• Sunday, Nov 28, 2021
  • Last Update : 09:25 pm

Chance for Shakib to rise like a phoenix

  • Published at 06:53 pm October 17th, 2021
File photo of Shakib al Hasan during training AFP

This T20 World Cup is a chance for Shakib to forget the last two turbulent years and rise like a phoenix

Shakib al Hasan doesn't need to prove anything to the world. He is already one of the best all-rounders in all formats of the game considering his records in the last 15 years.

With stunning stats as an all-rounder, he is already considered as one of the greatest of all time. So he doesn't need to prove anything anymore to the world in the upcoming T20 World Cup.

But he needs to prove something to himself.

Bearing in mind all the controversies and hardships he had encountered in the last two years, he needs to prove himself that he still has a lot to offer in the highest stage of cricket.

The year 2019 will be one to remember for Shakib's career.

In the first part of the year, Shakib was flying high. He had a breathtaking World Cup in terms of individual performance as the left-hander lit up the mega event with his superb all-round displays.

Shakib scored 606 runs batting at No 3 from just eight innings with two centuries, one against England and one against the West Indies.

His batting average and strike rate were 86.87 and 96.03 respectively in the tournament.

Shakib also took 11 wickets from eight innings, including a five-for against Afghanistan.

Thus Shakib became one of three players to have scored a century and taken a five-wicket haul in the same edition of the World Cup. Kapil Dev in 1983 and Yuvraj Singh in 2011 were the other two players who achieved this double.

Although Bangladesh had an average World Cup as a team, Shakib showed his class and received plaudits from fans all over the world.

However, Shakib’s career, rather than flying high after a superb World Cup in the first half of 2019,hit rock bottom after a major revelation in the latter part of that year, which will be a dark spot forever in his legendary career.

During the last week of October it was like a bombshell had dropped when the media reported that Shakib could be banned due to his involvement with match-fixing approach.

The International Cricket Council confirmed on October 29 that Bangladesh’s then Test and T20I captain Shakib had been handed a ban for two years, with one year of that suspended, by the Anti-Corruption Unit.

The ace cricketer accepted three charges of breaching the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Code 2.4.4 of failure to disclose to ACU the full details of any approaches or invitations he received to engage in corruption.

As Shakib had admitted to the offences charged by the ACU, there was no option for him to appeal against the ICC verdict but serve a minimum one-year ban.

In an emotional press conference that night at the BCB headquarters, Shakib admitted his offence and vowed to come back stronger than ever after serving the ban.

This forthcoming T20 World Cup was supposed to take place in 2020 in India.

But Covid-19 postponed the mega event by one year and eventually it was shifted to the UAE this year.

If this T20 World Cup had taken place on time, then Shakib could not have made it as his ban would not have been completed by then (October, 2020).

But luckily for Shakib, this T20 World Cup got postponed by a year and he is taking part in it eventually.

But upon his return to domestic and international cricket after serving his ban, Shakib has not been the player we have known to be.

Since his return, Shakib has played the Bangabandhu Premier League and Dhaka Premier League, two domestic T20 tournaments, and his performance with the bat and ball was average.

Shakib played 12 T20Is in 2021 and scored 196 from 11 innings with an average of 17.81 and strike rate of 105.37.

With the ball he was slightly better as he took 14 wickets from 12 innings in T20Is in 2021.

But those performances were not commanding, like the Shakib of old his fans have come to see over the years.

The spark and flare were missing.

Perhaps Shakib is warming up, targeting the T20 World Cup, the biggest stage of T20 cricket, to produce another magical all-round performance.

Although the format is different, Bangladesh fans are hoping their poster boy will have a stellar World Cup again, just like 2019.

And for Shakib himself, this T20 World Cup is a chance to forget the last two turbulent years and rise like a phoenix.

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