As already reported on this site, Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladeshi all-rounder, and former national captain has been banned for six months from any version of cricket and for 18 months from playing in any foreign leagues.
It wasn’t a surprise that Shakib was going to be punished by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) after breaking the Code of Conduct. But such a huge ban was completely unexpected and for both former cricketers and board members - as well as all Bangladeshis - it was a bolt from the blue.
Gazi Ashraf Hossain, a former Bangladeshi cricketer and ex-BCB board director, said that the decision was taken too quickly and also said that board should have held more discussions before taking such a big step.
Journalists asked him if he thinks that the punishment of Shakib wasn’t fair. In reply he said that Shakib is the face of Bangladeshi cricket and he has built a good reputation on the international stage so he could have been punished in any other way but the ban from any cricket match for such a long period is too much.
In a press briefing after the board meeting, the BCB chairman Nazmul Hasan said: "The list of complaints against Shakib is pretty long.
"The board thinks that he has a lot of problem when it comes to his behavior. No other Bangladeshi cricketer was found behaving like him and his behavior was also affecting others."
Hasan also hinted that Shakib’s punishment is the consequence of other problems caused by Shakib.
He said, "I have told you (the media) only about a few complaints. I can’t tell you about all of the complaints.
"Some of the complaints against Shakib are so serious and inhumane that the board became emotional thinking 'how come a man can do such things?'"
He didn’t go into any more detail on these additional complaints.
Several current and former Bangladeshi cricketers said that the punishment was too much and Shakib’s ban should have been reduced.
However, after the meeting Shakib met his team-mates and spent some time in the dressing room with them.
Many friends and relatives of Shakib called him and consoled him. Shakib told them to be patient.
On behalf of Shakib BCB media manager Rabid Imam said that Shakib won’t express his views in front of the media just yet.
However, some journalists waited outside to interview him. Shakib did come out out and then he spoke a few words with the journalists who were still there. He was asked about his thoughts regarding the ban and if he was going to appeal.
Shakib didn’t give a direct reply and smiled mildly at the journalists and said, "What can I say? There is nothing left to say."
Before the journalists could ask him anymore questions, he entered his brand new Hyundai car and changed the topic by asking the journalists their thoughts about his new car.
We can expect this story to run and run.
© Cricket World 2014