'A pattern of a very weak cricket board'
The Shakib Al Hasan-issue has been the talk of the town lately. The cricketer signed then rescinded a controversial sponsorship deal with betting-related site Betwinner News.
But, instead of being punished for his misdeeds, Shakib was named skipper of Bangladesh's T20I side.
Talking about Shakib's shenanigans with The Daily Star, Mohammad Isam, Bangladesh's correspondent for ESPNCricinfo, held the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) equally liable for the cricketer's actions.
"It is definitely a pattern," Isam said of Shakib's actions during a video podcast at The Daily Star Centre. "Over the years, he has acted in certain ways [that were questionable]. In the 2011 World Cup, he showed his finger to a fan. There was a huge controversy about that. He followed up with such incidents one after another.
"From the very beginning, he kept on portraying all of his outbursts and anger issues on the field and everyone was like 'wow, he is new'. Yes, he is new. He is very good on the field. But turning a blind eye to all these incidents led to him kicking down stumps [during a DPL encounter between Mohammedan-Abahani in 2021] and making an issue out of touring South Africa [in March-April]. Actually, all these messes, it is not just Shakib's pattern. It is a pattern of a very weak cricket board," Isam added.
Asked if Shakib gets preferential treatment from the board, Isam replied: "I have never seen anyone else getting away after getting into a fight with the board. Tamim Iqbal has gone through hell for even thinking about signing for a company in 2018. Or maybe someone misquoted Tamim and he got into trouble. Mashrafe has gotten into trouble many times. Mushfiqur showed some guts and talked about payment issue during the 2012 BPL and he was threatened with being left out of tours."
Isam agreed that Shakib is the greatest cricketer that Bangladesh has produced to date, but urged the BCB to have a look into Shakib's manner of conduct.
"Of course, everyone treats the first boy in the class differently and that is understandable. But if that boy has done [questionable] things 10-15 times, then you have to think about that boy's lifestyle and discipline."