In a sad development for the entire cricket world, captain of Bangladesh's Test and T20I team and one of the top all-rounders in international cricket, Shakib Al Hasan has been handed a two-year ban by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The left-hander has been found guilty of violating ICC's anti-corruption code.
This means that Shakib, one of the finest batsmen and bowlers for his country, and someone who enjoyed tremendous success in the 2019 World Cup, would not be available for the ICC World T20 event next year.
Two years ago, a bookie approached Shakib and made an offer to him wherein he was expected to affect the proceedings of matches in a tri-series played in 2018 involving his team - Bangladesh - along with Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, as well as that year's IPL.
It is by not informing the authorities about this interaction that the left-hander has incurred this punishment. Overall, Shakib Al Hasan was found to have infringed the Anti-Corruption code of ICC on three counts. He has accepted the charges and issued a statement to that effect.
"I am obviously extremely sad to have been banned from the game I love, but I completely accept my sanction for not reporting the approaches. The ICC ACU is reliant on players to play a central part in the fight against corruption and I didn't do my duty in this instance," his statement read.
Shakib further added: "Like the majority of players and fans around the world, I want cricket to be a corruption-free sport and I am looking forward to working with the ICC ACU team to support their education programme and ensure young players don't make the same mistake I did."
The only relief for the Shakib Al Hasan is the fact that one year of his ban is suspended. This means that if he fulfills certain conditions, then, he would be eligible to resume playing cricket exactly a year from now.
ICC General Manager - Integrity Alex Marshall presented ICC's stand on the issue. "Shakib Al Hasan is a highly experienced international cricketer. He has attended many education sessions and knows his obligations under the Code. He should have reported each of these approaches.
"Shakib has accepted his errors and cooperated fully with the investigation. He has offered to assist the Integrity Unit in future education, to help younger players to learn from his mistakes. I am happy to accept this offer."
The Bangladesh team is set to tour India for a series of three T20Is followed by two Test matches. With their captain now out of the equation, there will have to be a replacement found for Shakib.