Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Shakib Al Hasan is undoubtedly Bangladesh’s greatest cricketer.
In the coming years many outstanding players may emerge Bangladesh but Shakib will always remain an inspiration for future generation players, reports GULF NEWS.
He is one who exhibited to Bangladeshis that with skills earned through hard work even the best of international bowlers can be thrashed for runs and any top batsman can be dismissed.
Shakib as an allrounder figures among the best allrounders and his achievement makes it special as he played for a country that has been striving hard to create an impact in international cricket against the giants of the game.
In the recent Test series against New Zealand, at a time when even reputed and experienced cricketers have struggled there, Shakib produced scintillating performances.
His knock of 217 in the first Test at Wellington and his four wicket spell and a half century in the second Test at Christchurch amidst his team’s defeat are best examples of his caliber.
Shakib as a slow left-arm bowler is not an unplayable bowler but it is through his accuracy and control that he has picked wickets.
A total of 165 wickets from 46 Test matches and 220 wickets from 166 matches is an impressive show.
He is also just 16 wickets short for 100 wickets in Twenty20 Internationals.
Shakib is also not a master stroke player but he has a wide range of strokes.
He plays them within his limitations.
The beauty about his batting is that he lifts his game when playing against top teams and fearlessly scores against experienced bowlers.
No one will ever forget his first Test as captain against West Indies in Grenada in July 2009 He scored an unbeaten 96 to chase a target of 215 and produced a spell of three wickets in the first innings and five wickets in the second innings to give Bangladesh their first overseas series victory.
In 2010 at Hamilton he got this maiden century in the second innings after being dismissed for 87 runs in the first innings.
It was also only his fourth Test as captain.
Shakib also became the first Bangladesh player to achieve the double of 2000 runs and 100 wickets in One day Internationals.
He also became the first Bangladesh player to represent an English county team when Worcestershire signed him up in 2010.
Though he lifted Bangladesh to heights, criticisms affected him.
When Bangladesh lost a one-off Test and One-day series in 2011 to Zimbabwe he was removed from captaincy.
Soon he got picked for Indian Premier League and he performed consistently for Kolkata Knight Riders.
Soon Shakib found it hard to balance his fame, money and cricket. Despite being the senior-most player in the team during an ODI against Sri Lanka in 2014 in Dhaka, Shakib made a lewd gesture on live television.
He pointed towards his crotch and then towards the camera that was focused on him after being dismissed for 24.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), which conducted a disciplinary hearing, suspended the 26-year-old for three one-day internationals and fined him 300,000 Bangladesh taka ($3,860).
He also misbehaved with team coach Chandika Hathurusingha the same year forcing BCB to suspend him for all forms of cricket for six months and even denied an NOC to play in overseas competitions until the end of 2015.
BCB president Nazmul Hassan announcing his punishment said: “He (Shakib) has a severe attitude problem, which is unprecedented in the history of Bangladesh cricket.
We think that his behaviour is such that it’s directly impacting the team.”
BCB lifted the ban early and made him the vice captain of the team under Mashrafe Mortaza. Shakib seemed to have learned from his mistakes.
He shaped himself into a fine Twenty20 player and got picked for Caribbean Premier League and Pakistan Super League making him richest Bangladesh cricketer and a player whom franchises love to own.
Incidentally, Shakib, who was born in Magura district of Khulna division in Bangladesh, had come into prominence by getting hired by different villages to play cricket for them.
In the early days he wasn’t a left-arm spinner but a pacer who could bat well.
The moment that projected him to prominence was his 86-ball century and three wickets in an Under-19 tri-nation tournament involving England and Sri Lanka.
Today Shakib’s fame is such that he gets mobbed anywhere in Bangladesh.
His popularity is such that his wedding got broadcast live across a number of television channels in Bangladesh.
Every young cricketer wants to idolise him.
Speaking to Gulf News, Shakib once said: “Playing international cricket is challenging. It brings the best out of me.
I am one who is never affected by the pressures of the game because if you can enjoy the pressures of a game, it will be special.”
Shakib Al Hasan in international cricket.