The ICC banning Shakib Al Hasan for 2 years — considered one of them suspended — from all cricket for not reporting advances by an alleged bookie ought to ship shockwaves within the cricketing world.
Right here was a marquee participant, Bangladesh’s finest cricketer and among the many world’s high all-rounders, being punished for his interactions with somebody suspected to be a bookie.
Shakib’s conduct — he has let his staff, nation and cricketing group down — is unpardonable as a result of he, having performed the sport for therefore lengthy, should absolutely have been conscious of ICC’s directions, to all gamers, to report approaches by suspicious parts.
The transcripts of Shakib’s Whatsapp conversations with the individual in query, launched by the ICC, are disturbing. Significantly when Shakib writes to the person who he needed to satisfy him in individual.
Then, there are deleted messages. We would by no means know the extent of Shakib’s involvement with the alleged bookie.
Match and spot fixing and extracting data from cricketers are poison to cricket since they make a mockery of the viewers, the groups and those that play the sport truthfully. The match turns into a farce.
These bookies strike on the very soul of the sport, its integrity, corrupting it, eroding its credibility and luring the gamers to promote themselves.
Many — such because the celebrated former England captain Michael Vaughan — consider ICC’s punishment to Shakib ought to have been extra extreme. Did Shakib get away frivolously with only a 12 months of efficient ban?
That the exchanges between Shakib and the alleged bookie occurred in the course of the IPL, 2018 — the final 12 months of ICC being in command of the anti-corruption unit within the competitors — is worrying.
Is the IPL, which has been ripped open by spot fixing up to now, nonetheless being swarmed by those that wish to induce the gamers and destroy the sport?
In contrast to the previous, the cricketers are paid handsomely now and acts of dishonest the sport are unforgivable. And there are such a lot of rising leagues in several corners of the world the place anti-corruption items are fragile and porous.
Cricket faces its greatest problem.