Shakib Khan, err, I mean Shakib Al Hasan is back in action! Yup, not only will he be playing in the upcoming series against Zimbabwe from November 21 but he will also be the team’s Vice Captain. His bestie, Tamim Iqbal will also be deputising in the longest format so it seems like the tides are turning in this tedious tug-of-war between the BCB and its senior players.
The BCB wants to now be able to blame all its senior players – Shakib, Tamim, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mashrafe Mortaza – if and when the team fails in the future. But without going into the lethargic details of why this petty cat fight between the two parties started in the first place, let’s take a look at what the BCB head honcho Nazmul Hasan, quite nonchalantly said on record: “There was a misunderstanding among people who are not related to cricket that the board had a problem with Shakib. We only had a problem with his behaviour. We believe he is improving, but we will keep an eye on him whether he is a regular member of the side or a vice-captain. He has to keep this in mind. I hope he will uphold the faith and belief that we have placed on him.”
So what Mr. Nazmul Hasan is actually saying is that Shakib has been recovering well from rehab and if he doesn't stick to the law of the land (BCB), he will find himself in a similar predicament. Just for the record, Shakib did NOT go through rehab. But yes, if you decide to show that you have a pair to the cameraman and the entire world during a game, well, you’re just being a sore loser, and Shakib is way above that.
So his ban for 6 months, now reduced to 3 months was more-or-less justified. And that wasn’t his only offense: it was just the beginning of a chain of offences that lead to this. But his ban did get reduced simply because the national team decided to play the gentleman’s game with the mentality of a bunch of high school bullies.
The result: 13 consecutive ODI losses in 2014 so far including Asia Cup blunders against Afghanistan and Pakistan, an embarrassing loss to Hong Kong in the World T20, a tame surrender against a Suresh Raina lead India side at home and the latest drubbing in West Indies. Although Mushfiqur thrived as a batsman, he failed to keep his team afloat, and as a result it crashed and burned with a whimper.
And did you notice the backhanded sucker punch Mr. Nazmul Hasan threw at the media and the fans – that spent their hard earned cash and invested their precious time to go watch the games – by saying those that are not involved directly are as stupid as they feel for watching utter incompetence from their national team in the international arena? Well played I must say. You have certainly endeared yourself to us… NOT!
So can Shakib change things around; he’s the vice-captain after all? If you look just back to 2010 you’ll find that he was the vice-captain to Mashrafe, who ended up getting injured back then (as he more or less does). Shakib successfully lead the team before him and Tamim became too power hungry and got sacked by the BCB. This is quite the love story now isn’t it?
Here’s what Mr. Nazmul Hasan has to say about their chosen one this time around, “Mashrafe is injury prone so he won't feel let down if we change the captain. When I told him about taking over the one-day team, he offered to be the vice-captain. He will give the same effort if he is not the captain. If he is fit, he will be the captain, but if he injured, the vice-captain will take over.”
Will history repeat itself? Will Mushfiqur decide to quit after another loss to Zimbabwe before being sacked? Will Mashrafe get injured again? Will Shakib be a match-winner once more? Will Tamim decide to remind the board he can score selfish half centuries but not the big one? These are all interesting, exciting, and dreadfully agonising scenarios that can happen and as fans we must remain prepared for the worst.
But why did Bangladesh Cricket have to go through so much turmoil and indignity and still remain in the same rot? Well, in the upcoming weeks and/or months (depends on how interested you all are) I will try to find out the answers to the issues and where it all began and what the future holds. Till then let’s indulge in some rare good moments.
But let’s not get carried away, we deserved most of the criticism we got, and then some.
Shahnoor Rabbani loves sports; he can barely play any. He likes to get under peoples skins with his opinions and remarks and because he senses and caters to those that are the schadenfreude. The hate mail is welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.