Out of favour national pacer Shahadat Hossain was yesterday slapped with a five-year ban, with two years of that suspended, for assaulting his Dhaka Division teammate Arafat Sunny Jnr during a National Cricket League (NCL) match in Khulna on Sunday. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) confirmed the sentence, which also included a fine of Tk 3 lakh.
The cricketer has the opportunity to appeal the verdict till November 26.
The 33-year-old, who played 38 Tests, 51 ODIs and 6 T20Is for the national side, lost his cool and slapped Arafat after he had refused to shine the ball during their side’s encounter with Khulna Division on the second day of the sixth round of the NCL at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Knulna on Sunday.
After the altercation, match referee Akhtar Ahmed had initially banned Shahadat for the remaining two days of the four-day first-class match. Shahadat’s actions in Khulna amounted to a Level 4 offence under the Bangladesh Cricket Board’s (BCB’s) code of conduct, which carries a minimum punishment of a one-year ban and a maximum penalty of five-year ban from all forms of cricket.
Following a technical committee meeting yesterday, BCB chief selector Minhajul Abedin informed that they have taken the decision considering the serious nature of the offence.
“Shahadat has had disciplinary issues in the past and we have taken that into consideration. It is a very serious offence when a player hits his own teammate and everyone in the technical committee was convinced about the punishment against him.
“We hope that this will be an example for the other cricketers as well as it is unpleasant for any cricketer to get involved in disciplinary issues again and again. No one will be spared if they breach the rules and we want to give this message to everyone,” Minhajul told reporters yesterday.
Shahadat was arrested in 2015 for assaulting his domestic help. The cricketer was then handed a lifetime suspension byt the BCB, but the board lifted the ban the following year after Shahadat displayed contrition and apologised.
This time too the cricketer said that he has realised his mistakes and will appeal for a reduction of the punishment over the next few days.
“I have made a mistake and I realise that. Sunny and I later resolved the matter. I never imagined that I will get such harsh punishment and I am very disappointed. But I will definitely appeal against this and I am sure my punishment will be reduced if I am able to convince the board,” Shahadat told reporters yesterday.
While Shahadat was the one who received the five-year ban for physically assaulting his teammate, it was learned that fellow pacer Mohammad Shahid was the one who started the argument. Shahid first pushed Sunny for not shining the ball properly and Shahadat later lashed out at his teammate and started slapping the cricketer.
The umpires noticed Shahid’s involvement and they have already levied a fine of 50 per cent of his match fees for the Level 2 offence and reported the matter to the technical committee