Do you remember the salute-exchanging incident between Banglasdesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and his English counterpart Ben Stokes? It was one of the biggest talking points during England’s tour to Bangladesh last year.
It all started with Stokes and his teammates verbally charging at Sabbir Rahman during an ODI match which cost him to being fined 15 per cent of his match fee. And not only that, he also attracted attentions for more wrong reasons – from getting in a tangle with Tamim Iqbal during the ODI series and screaming at Taijul Islam to not handle the ball when he made an effort to give it to England’s fielders.
A reply was something that all the fans were awaiting. Not only through the Tiger’s performances, but an actual gesture was something fans felt they needed. And they got that this morning through the player with the most swagger in the Bangladesh side, Shakib Al Hasan.
After breaching Stokes’ defences and castling him, Shakib — reminiscent of West Indian Marlon Samuels send-off for Stokes during a Test in April 2015 — put his hands up to his head, saluting the England player on his way back to the pavilion.
At the end of the series which saw Bangladesh beating England in the second Test match to create history, Stokes also saluted Shakib back, but in a different manner altoghether. “Thanks for having us Bangladesh been a brilliant Test/ODI series, salute to the security and the people and of course Shakib Al Hasan,” Stokes wrote on his Facebook page.
Now with Bangladesh and England once again all set to lock horns with each other in the first match of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 at The Oval in London on Thursday, there is certainly going to take place another clash-of-the-titans between Shakib and Stokes.
The all-rounders from both camps can contribute in all departments and will also try to keep an edge over the other. Stokes was the second highest run-scorer in the last bilateral series against Bangladesh. On the other hand, Shakib also chipped in with crucial wickets to keep the opposition at bay in the same series. Be it bowling in the death or accelerating in the middle overs, both the left-handers can turn the complexion of game on their own.
Shakib was the eventual winner in their last face-off. Now it will be interesting to see that this time around, who has the last laugh – Shakib or Stokes?
– Jannatul Naym Pieal, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com