Shakib Al Hasan comeback is 'tough but not impossible', feels selector Habibul Bashar
B'desh national selector Habibul Bashar is confident Shakib Al Hasan will overcome challenges to make a comeback after two-year ban
New Delhi: Former Bangladesh captain and national selector Habibul Bashar is shocked that a "mature" man like Shakib Al Hasan didn't report corrupt approaches to the ICC and believes it would be tough, if not impossible, for the banned all-rounder to regain his peak position. The world's No. 1 ODI all-rounder was on Tuesday banned by the ICC for two years, one year being a suspended sentence, for failing to report corrupt approaches from an alleged bookie Deepak Aggarwal on three occasions, including one during the 2018 Indian Premier League.
While Bashar expects Shakib, 32, who has over 11,000 runs and more than 500 wickets across three formats, to be back after the ban, he also admitted that it will be easier said than done. "It is a tough ask. Shakib will be out of cricket for a year, which will be mentally tough for him. After one year, to first make a comeback and then strive to reach where you were before the ban is a tall order but not impossible," Bashar told PTI.
"Because the name of the player is Shakib, I have faith in his ability and talent. There have been spells of injuries, where has been out for three to six months. "I have seen him make comebacks from rehabilitation and then very quickly get back into the groove. He is a seasoned player and there's no reason that he can't do it again," he added.
For now, Bashar is yet to get over the shock of Shakib not reporting the corrupt approaches to the ICC's anti-corruption unit. "It is shocking for me, but I will take solace from the fact that having known Shakib for long, I knew he would never indulge in any corrupt practice. That he has not been indicted by the ICC on corruption charges is a big relief as far as I am concerned," said Bashar, one of Shakib's earliest captains.
"But yes, I am also surprised like anyone as to why a mature boy like Shakib didn't report the matter to the ICC's anti-corruption unit," said Bashar, who played 50 Tests and 111 ODIs. Bashar said the focus should now be on the India series.
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