Royal Bengal Tiger Shakib Attains New Heights
Celebrated Bangladesh Cricket all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has entered very exclusive elite club of cricket greats while inspiring Bangladesh in winning the test and series against visiting Zimbabwe at Sheikh Naser Cricket stadium Khulna on November 7, 2014. Bangladesh won the test by 162 runs. A week earlier it also won at Dhaka by three wickets. With this back to back test win which is only the second time Bangladesh could achieve after performing the same in 2009 against West Indies Bangladesh has already won the test series. The third test at Chittagong is an opportunity for Bangladesh for achieving a series white wash. [Read also: ওয়াসিম আকরামকেও ছুঁলেন সাকিব]
While some other members of tiger family also made major contribution leading ICC ranked all-rounder Shakib was very special as in 137 years history of test cricket he became only the third player to achieve the rare feat of scoring a century and getting 10 wickets in the same test. Only Sir Ian Terence Botham of England and Imran Khan Niazi could achieve this before him. Not even greats like Kapil Dev Nikkhanj, Wasim Akram, Jack Kallis or Sir Richard Hadlee could reach there. Ironically only four months from the day on 7 th July while serving the unusually harsh suspension by BCB he was unsure of even playing the series .Luckily for Bangladesh and world cricket BCB reduced his suspension and he delivered like a glittering gold.
|Player||Runs||Wickets||Batting First Innings||Batting Second Innings||BowlingIst Innings||Bowling Second Innings||Match||Ground||Date|
|Ian Botham||114||13||114||——||6/58||7/48||England vs India||Mumbai||15 Feb”1980|
|Imran Khan||117||11||117||——-||6/98||5/82||Pakistan Vs India||Faisalabad||3 January 1983|
|Shakib Al Hasan||143||10||137||6||5/80||5/44||Bangladesh Vs Zimbabwe||Khulna||3 November 2014|
Shakib is also the fifth among the top bowlers in matter of getting 5 wickets in test ratio. The others above him are SF Barnes, CV Grimmet, Muttiah Murliatharan and Sir Richard Hadlee. The bowlers he already surpassed are HJ Tayfield, HMRKB Herath, TM Alderman, DK Lillee and Dayle Steyn.
|Player||Matches||Wickets||Average||Five Wickets Innings||Ten Wickets Match||Ratio|
|Sir R Hadlee||86||431||22.29||36||9||2.39|
|Shakib Al Hasan||36||139||30.94||14||1||2.57|
Test match playing frequency of Bangladesh is negligible compared to other major test playing nations. If Bangladesh play more tests and at regular frequency at home I am sure Shakib will achieve more milestones.
Bangladesh is not a major sporting nation. Bangladesh is way behind even from Asian standard in most other major games. It is only in cricket they are in the world stage and in this game our vintage Shakib has been ranked top all-rounder ICC ranking for a while. In 36 tests he has taken 139 wickets so far and with three centuries and sixteen half centuries he has scored 2441 test runs.
The present series win is the third for Bangladesh in four years of test history. They won earlier the home series 1-0 against Zimbabwe and away against West Indies 2-0 in 2009. This is also the second back to back test win after the West Indies. Shakib was very much instrumental in that series win and actually had to lead the team after captain Mashrafee broke down early in the first test.
Bangladesh was going through a prolonged bad patch in all forms of cricket from late 2013. The performance of the team reached new heights after two incidents of white wash of New Zealand in ODI and performing very admirably in 2012 Asia cup. Bangladesh after beating strong India and Sri Lanka lost to Pakistan only just. In 2011 Bangladesh surprisingly lost to Zimbabwe the only test they played against them in that country and in 2013 they managed to draw 1-1 . Bangladesh started regrouping in test also as they managed to draw a test in Sri Lanka where captain Mushfique scored a double century and Mohammad Asharful a near double century . That series also saw the emergence of a good player Mominul Huq in the world scene who also blossomed in this series reaching a 1000 runs milestone in 11 th test equaling the feat of great Sunil Manohar Gavaskar.
Bangladesh started losing the way towards the later part of 2013 from the home series against Sri Lanka. The performance reached rock bottom in Asia Cup and World T20 when not only failed to win against major opposition they lost to teams like Afghanistan and Hong Kong. It was very difficult to figure to figure out what was going wrong. The same team that was shaping up so well was just not winning anything.
Things turned worse when star batsman Mohammad Ashraful got suspended for his own admitted betting scandal in BPL (Do not know why Bangladesh Required to Follow BCCI Cash Cow IPL?) . BCB hurriedly suspended Shakib imposing a ban on him from appearing in any form of cricket till end 2014 and not permitting him for playing in any foreign league till December 2015. What particular offence made BCB jump to such a very inappropriate disciplinary action has not yet been made public?
Bangladesh got thoroughly humiliated with Shakib in West Indies .They were comprehensively white washed in Tests, ODI and T20. Any street urchin on Dhaka Street will tell you with Shakib there Bangladesh could definitely not embarrass like what happened. Cannot we conclude that BCB action caused national pride to be dented?
Shakib definitely was not right for his antics and he served some disciplinary suspensions before as well. But was his last faults which prompted such a harsh actions were so severe? What happened to those ugly boys who teased his wife Shishir from VIP enclosure? Why such boys were given VIP access at all?
If he was found guilty after a probe he could be suspended for one or two ODIs and some fines but why such a harsh term which severely hurt Bangladesh cause. Bangladesh lost opportunity of narrowing gap with West Indies in ICC ranking for which we may have to suffer.
Why Shakib has been barred from playing in his contracted overseas leagues? How many players get such opportunities? Did not he make Bangladesh proud in sterling performances for KKR in IPL, KFC Big bash and English County appearances? Bangladesh can benefit if more and more its players play in foreign leagues as these are much better structured and better managed. I strongly recommend to BCB for lifting the restrictions on Shakib from appearance in foreign league .Keep him mentally free as he is our best bet in international cricket and our national asset.
Even the lovely child Maheer Sarwar Megh son of murdered Journalist couple Sagar Runi realized the value of Shakib for Bangladesh cricket but not BCB. He requested BCB president in lifting his ban in a TV program.
Players like Shakib are born once in blue moon to a nation like Bangladesh .He is endangered species like Royal Bengal Tiger. We must handle them with care and diligence. BCB must take lessons from Cricket Australia as to how they handled Shane Warne, from English Cricket Board about how they handled Ian Botham. BCB must have better man management strategy. Player plays the game and system keeps them honest.
Shakib has a long way to go yet. If he can maintain his focus he will surely bring more glories for himself and Bangladesh in not too distant future. It is also very encouraging to note that Bangladesh team now has few match winners. Everybody has started realizing the value of performance.
I sincerely hope that Shakib also realized his star value. Millions of Bangladeshis at home and abroad admire and adore him. People from all walks of life idolize him. He must not do anything which embarrasses them and hurts their feelings. Go ahead Shakib the sky is your limit.