Barely two-and-a-half months after slapping a six-month suspension on Shakib Al Hasan on disciplinary grounds, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) significantly reduced the left-hander's punishment. In a board meeting at Mirpur yesterday, it was decided that Shakib will be available for selection from September 15 onwards.
However, the BCB's decision to not provide the left-hander with No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to play foreign leagues until December 31, 2015 did not see any change.
Speaking to reporters at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium after a four-hour meeting BCB president Nazmul Hassan Papon said, “After a long discussion we have decided that his suspension will be lifted on September 15. This means he will be available for selection for international and domestic cricket.”
According to board insiders, the initial plan was to lift the suspension in the first week of October. However, it was learnt that the board may be planning to send the left-hander to Korea to take part in the Asian Games.
Papon replied in the negative when asked if Shakib's quick return was a result of Bangladesh's disappointing performance in the West Indies.
He further said that the board believes that Shakib did learn from his mistake and that they were satisfied with the way he responded to the suspension. With regards to the board's decision on the NOCs, the president said that that clause could be relaxed in the near future.
“It is not easy to take such a decision and then come out of it. But, as a contracted player, he had a right to appeal and he did. We were satisfied with the letter and his recent behaviour from individual interactions. We feel he has learned from his mistake and he has assured us a number of times that he won't make such a mistake again," said Papon
"The decision to keep him suspended from playing abroad [in domestic leagues] still stands. We will observe him on and off the field. If we see he has improved, the board may then decide to relax the other things," he added.
The decision also means that Shakib will be available in the player pool for the Dhaka Premier League 2014-15. According to Gazi Tank Cricket Club's owner Lutfur Rahman Badal, Shakib has already struck an unofficial deal with the club.
However, the official process of including Shakib into the player's pool is yet to be decided by the tournament's organizers, the Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolitan.