SHAKIB al Hasan has threatened to pull out of international cricket. Why? Because his arrogance and his newly found wealth seem to have overpowered his senses -- sense of nationalism, decency and of honouring the rules of the body that employs him, which is the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).
This behaviour of Shakib hasn't come as a shock to me, because the malady of arrogance, self-entitlement and being above the law and protesting everything that goes against personal convenience plagues every rung of our society. The culture of threat and intimidation is nothing new to us, we have mastered the art of creating unnecessary bedlam. This is the biggest gift of the kind of democracy that the leaders of this country have preached and practiced in the past twenty odd years. Such arrogance and act of defiance is the biggest impediment to governance by rule of law, establishing peace and security for the people and, most importantly, self-discipline.
Shakib is earning a lot more money playing in the leagues, county cricket and from endorsements, but what he fails to realise is that the provenance of his fame and his popularity comes from his Bangladeshi fans. If such attitude persists then soon the wells of fame and money will dry up for Shakib, he will be a wasted talent. The BCB should take whatever stern measure it is mandated to under its rules and set an example. We need superstar cricketers and role models such as Sachin Tendulkar, and not a wannabe Bollywood superstar performing for himself alone at the expense of the team. This incident, along with a surfeit of other controversies in which Shakib has lately found himself, exposes the self-individualistic aspirations of this man -- which is not a bad thing, but when it brings disrepute to the nation I believe the wings of those flying high should be hemmed.
Other rising stars within our team should take notice of this and learn to keep their heads on their shoulders. They should learn to be humble and ensure that their humility equals their fame. Cricketing talent alone did not make Sachin Tendulkar, what made him was his sense of belonging, his love for the game, his deep sense of gratitude to his national team, including the selectors and managers, and the pride that he took whenever he wore that blue shirt. Shakib needs to learn the same.
Muhammad Zeeshan Mohsen, Barrister Inner Temple.