NEW DELHI: NEW DELHI: It has been a difficult few days for Bangladesh cricket as the team prepares to take on India in the first T20I in New Delhi on Sunday. A day before their departure, inspirational all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan was banned by the ICC for failing to report three corrupt approaches from a suspected Indian bookie.
Head coach Russell Domingo admitted that it has come as a shock to the dressing room and he fears that performance levels may get affected by this. "He has been a big player for Bangladesh and close friends with a lot of players. It has obviously affected a few players. Obviously he has made a mistake and he is paying the price for it. There's not much we can control. It affects the team's performance but we need to be focussed on the series and build for the T20 World Cup."
The World No 1 ODI all-rounder had been at the top of his game of late and has over 11,000 runs and 550 wickets across three formats. The former South Africa coach is aware of the huge task on his hand in finding an adequate replacement.
"He bats at No 3 and very often ends up opening the bowling as well. If not, he bowls first change and invariably bowls four overs in every game. He is one of our leading batters. We have to decide whether to replace the batsman or the bowler. It is very difficult to replace both, as very few have the same sort of skill-set. So you might find yourself short in some department and strengthened in one department," Domingo explained.
With regards to what sort of personnel he is looking at employing to fill the void, Domingo said, "It will depend on conditions. If the pitch is flat, we will have an extra bowler and if the pitch does a little, may be have an extra batsman. It is very difficult to fill Shakib's shoes but those available should try their best to get those numbers."
Domingo has not had too much time to interact with Shakib as it has been a little over a month since his appointment. He does not want to think too far ahead with regards to his reintegration back into the team after his ban. "I haven't had a chance to know him personally but players have great respect for him. One year in cricketing terms is a long time and I haven't thought about it. How Shakib will be integrated in the team has neither crossed my mind nor the players' mind."