BCB, Shakib make-up
Bangladesh Cricket Board took a soft stance on Shakib Al Hasan in a bid to quash the controversy that was threatening to overshadow preparations for Zimbabwe tour.
The Bangladesh captain, who has been in the eye of the storm ever since he arrived back from his county stint with Worcestershire, held clear-the-air talks yesterday with BCB CEO Manzur Ahmed, chief selector Akram Khan and his colleagues Minhazul Abedin and Habibul Bashar.
Shakib was ordered to meet Manzur after he had taken leave without notice from training earlier on July 21 and 22. The day before, Shakib had also drawn the ire of the selectors when he criticised them for not discussing the squad with him before it was announced.
After the hour-long meeting, Manzur didn't give any clear statement on the twin offences, though there was a clear indication that Shakib had indeed breached the code of conduct. There was no immediate punishment as the board wished to look into the future considering the man's age and to give him space.
The sources confirmed that BCB is going to serve a letter of warning. When asked if, at the very least, a letter would be issued, Manzur said, "We hope to do something. It is in the process. We are not letting this go. Only time will tell what we will do."
He used the word "misrepresentation" when talking about the offences but Manzur confirmed that Shakib regretted his statement on the selectors as well as taking leave without permission.
"He definitely realised and he told us that he didn't do anything intentionally. We are taking this seriously and he also understood it.
"I talked to both parties and I didn't see any big problems. Shakib confirmed to me that he talked with the selectors and that the squad selection is their jurisdiction while he would have a say in the final eleven.
"I would hope that everyone tries to improve maintaining the protocol," said Manzur.
He wanted to make a fresh start and not dwell on whether previous indiscretions would have an adverse effect on the other national players.
Shakib, who finally met new coach Stuart Law as he was shooting a commercial in the meantime, cited his nature when asked if he was surprised at the reaction or regretted the matter.
"Actually I don't really think what's going to happen later," he said. "You can think of it both ways. On the one hand, it could all be clear after discussion. Or you can think that it is all a big problem; then it's a negative. I always think positively."
Shakib however admitted that he has room for improvement as a leader.
"I can be a lot more [responsible], off the field. There are areas where changes can be made, both on and off the field. There's no end to improvement, if I'm honest with you," he said, adding that he didn't know he had to apply for leave as the schedule had changed.
"I was supposed to join the team in Zimbabwe had we gone to South Africa. But since that has changed, I didn't realise I had to apply for leave.
"I really needed the break. I didn't want to come to the field to tell you the truth. A good rest was what I needed, at least a few days to keep the mind fresh," said Shakib.
Shakib too clarified that he did talk with Akram, like previous occasions.
"He was a selector before too, so we used to talk all the time. I don't think there's a problem as they know that I respect them," he added.