Dhaka: Hundreds of people staged a demonstration Wednesday in the Bangladesh town of Magura against a two-year ban on cricket captain Shakib Al Hasan for not declaring attempts to bribe him. Incidentally Magura is the hometown of Shakib Al Hasan.
The ban on the 32-year-old superstar was announced Tuesday by the ICC. Shakib made a public appeal for support after being banned, unleashing a flood of angry anti-ICC social media posts from his fans.
Police said about 700 people took to the streets in Shakib’s hometown, demanding the ICC revoke the ban which came on the eve of Bangladesh’s departure for a tour of India.
“The protesters shouted slogans and marched along a highway. They also formed a human chain as part of their action against the ICC decision,” said Saiful Islam, police chief in the western town. Protesters carried placards saying that Shakib Al Hasan was the victim of a ‘conspiracy’. Smaller protests were held in the capital Dhaka, police said.
Shakib will be eligible to return October 29 next year but he is ruled out of the T20 World Cup in Australia which starts October 8.
Shakib, who has played 56 Tests, 206 ODIs and 76 Twenty20 internationals, is Bangladesh’s biggest sporting hero and has regularly topped the ICC rankings for all-rounders since 2009.
At this year’s World Cup in England, Shakib Al Hasan scored more than 600 runs and picked up 11 wickets. He also became the fastest cricketer to reach 5,000 runs and 250 wickets in one-day internationals.
After the ban, Shakib stepped down from the MCC World Cricket committee, which said it was ‘sorry’ to lose him but supported his resignation, which was ‘the right decision’.