Bangladesh’s star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan was handed a 2-year ban (1 of which is suspended) on Tuesday over the player’s failure to report approaches of corrupt conduct.
Ahead of the much-anticipated tour to India, Bangladesh received a big set back when they lost their top-ranked all-rounder. With a year of ban to be served, Shakib can return to international cricket only from October 29, 2020 — meaning he will be out of Indian Premier League 2020 and T20 World Cup 2020.
Shakib, who has been found guilty of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code, was charged for not reporting approaches from an alleged Indian bookie twice during a tri-series between Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in January 2018 and once during IPL in April 2018.
The ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit had interviewed Shakib Al Hasan in January 2019 and in August 2019 in relation to a lengthy investigation into potential corrupt conduct. The individual, who was found to have contacted Shakib, is reportedly an Indian bookie, Deepak Aggarwal.
During these interviews, Shakib was cautioned that the answers and information provided by him could be used as evidence to support a charge or charges in relation to a breach of the Code. Shakib admitted various failures to report approaches made to him to provide inside information, according to the ICC.
According to the details of the investigation released by the ICC,
Shakib Al Hasan was a member of Dhaka Dynamites team, a team that participated in the Bangladesh Premier League in 2017 when his telephone number was provided to Deepak Agarwal by another person who was known to the Bangladesh all-rounder.
Shakib had known his number was shared with Aggarwal who wanted contacts of players in BPL for inside information.
In mid-November 2017, at the instigation of Aggarwal, Shakib exchanged various WhatsApp messages in which the bookie sought to meet him.
In January 2018, Shakib and Aggarwal engaged in WhatsApp conversations right after the all-rounder was selected in the squad for tri-series involving Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.
On 19 January 2018, Shakib received a WhatsApp message from Aggarwal congratulating him for being named man of the match in that day’s game. Aggarwal followed this message with a message saying “do we work in this or I wait till the IPL”. The reference to “work” in this message was a reference to him providing inside information to the bookie.
Shakib did not report this contact from Aggarwal to the ACU or any other anti-corruption authority.
On 23 January 2018, Shakib received another WhatsApp message from Aggarwal in which the bookie made another approach to him to provide him with Inside Information, saying “Bro anything in this series?”
Shakib confirmed during the investigation that this message related to Aggarwal’s request to him to provide the bookie with Inside Information in relation to the ongoing tri-series. Shakib did not report this approach as well.
On 26 April 2018, Shakib received a WhatsApp message from the bookie asking him if a particular player was going to play in an IPL match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab. Shakib was playing for SRH.
Aggarwal continued this conversation with him by talking about bitcoins, dollar accounts and asked him for his dollar account details. During this conversation, Shakib told Aggarwal that he wanted to meet him “first”.
These messages on 26 April 2018 included a number of deleted messages. He confirmed that these deleted messages contained requests from Aggarwal for inside information.
Shakib confirmed that he had concerns over Aggarwal, feeling he was a bit “dodgy”, and that, following their conversations, he had the feeling that Aggarwal was a bookie.
While Shakib did not report these approaches, he told the ICC ACU he did not confirm or act upon any of these requests from Aggarwal.