NEW DELHI: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina insists star cricketer Shakib-al-Hasan "made a mistake" by not reporting the corrupt approaches made to him because of which he has been banned from all cricket for two years.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday banned Shakib for two years, with one year of that suspended, after he accepted three charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.
Under the provisions of the code, Shakib chose to admit the charges and agreed the sanction with the ICC in lieu of an Anti-Corruption Tribunal hearing. Subject to him satisfying the conditions in respect of the suspended part of the sanction, teh all-rounder will be free to resume international cricket on October 29, 2020.
"It's clear that Shakib has made a mistake and he's realised that," Hasina was quoted as saying by bdnews24.com. "There's nothing much the government can do about the ICC's decision but Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will stand by him," she added.
Following ICC's decision, Shakib said, "I am obviously extremely sad to have been banned from the game I love, but I completely accept my sanction for not reporting the approaches."
"Like the majority of players and fans around the world, I want cricket to be a corruption free sport and I am looking forward to working with the ICC ACU team to support their education programme and ensure young players don't make the same mistake I did."
The one-year ban that the 32-year-old has to serve will keep him out of next year's Indian Premier League (IPL) and also the World T20 to be held in Australia from October 18 to November 15.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has also offered support to the suspended cricketer.
"We hope he will come back as a better and wiser cricketer and serve Bangladesh for many more years when his sanction will be over. During the suspension the BCB will continue to support his efforts at returning to cricket," BCB President Nazmul Hassan said in an official statement.
The ban comes as a huge blow for Bangladesh ahead of their much-anticipated tour of India, which comprises three T20Is and two Tests, beginning November 3.
Mahmudullah will lead Bangladesh in the T20Is whereas Mominul Haque will be leading the Test side in the two-Test series, the one of which will be a day-night affair scheduled to be played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata from November 22-26.