Can Shakib make a stunning comeback?
It was on the 5th of July, 2019 when Shakib Al Hasan, the leading all-rounder of the world played his last match for Bangladesh. The breathtaking performance of the best all-rounder, our country has produced the only means of celebration for endless Bangladeshi cricket fans in the World Cup of 2019 while the rest of team tigers could not perform up to the mark. However, suspension of Shakib Al Hasan for two years, with one year conditionally suspended last year left thousands of cricket fans dumbfounded and upset. Since then millions of cricket lovers, myself included, had been eagerly awaiting for the comeback of the super star of Bangladesh cricket.
Shakib Al Hasan is one of the few cricketers from Bangladesh who thinks outside the box. A glimpse at his last world cup performance reveals why Al Hasan outperformed most of his contemporary all-rounders. Shakib scored 606 runs at an average of 86.57, along with picking up 11 wickets in ICC Men's World Cup- 2019. He became the first cricketer ever in World Cup history to score 600+ runs and 10+ wickets.
Regrettably, after Shakib's epic performance was the only notable achievement of the last World Cup for Bangladesh, he was suspended by the International Cricket Council in October last year, a few months after the World Cup, for failing to report approaches from multiple bookies though he was not found to be tempted or involved in any kind of match fixing or so on.
One little subconscious mistake of Shakib drove him away from cricket but this long absence could not wipe him out from the hearts of thousands of cricket fans of Bangladesh. I along with scores of Tiger fans had been eagerly waiting for Sakib's return. Watching Shakib playing is eye-blazing not only for Bangladeshi cricket fans but for cricket lovers everywhere. He has gained international attention, which can only be good for Bangladeshi cricket.
Nevertheless, as Shakib was off the field for more than a year, a question remains: can he make it a Royal comeback? Well, a close look at Mr Al Hasan's statistics might offer some indication.
If I take the Champions Trophy of 2017, for example, Shakib Al Hasan stepped up, scored a century, steered us to a victory over New Zealand, and won man of the match after Bangladesh were in very critical situation; losing 4 quick wickets for 33 runs. He also set the highest 5th wicket partnership with Mahmudullah Riyad (224) in the history of the Champions Trophy.
Shakib is one of the most confident and courageous players of world cricket, when others fall apart, he goes on fighting. In the 2019 World Cup, when no other Bangladeshi players made a remarkable performance, Shakib was different. He is the only tiger batsman to score 600+ runs in one single world cup and the only player in world cricket to score 600+ runs and 10+ wickets in a World Cup.
Looking at Test cricket, beating Australia in 2017 was one of the glorious moments for Bangladeshi cricket, and it was Shakib who led from the front in that win. Shakib took 10 wickets in that test match, made a half century and was awarded Man of the Match.
Shakib is the third cricketer in the world to score 10,000 runs and 500 wickets in international cricket, and fastest of all to reach this milestone. Considering T-20s, Shakib is one of the three cricketers to score 4000 runs and pick up 300 wickets, and he is the fastest of the three to achieve this, Shahid Afridi and Dwayne Bravo are the others.
On top of it, Shakib is an impact player. He has received 21 Man of the Match awards, and only five other players internationally have received more. In addition, he is the highest wicket taker for Bangladesh in test and T-20, and possibly will become the highest in ODIs. His contribution towards Bangladesh's wins is always noticeable and consistent. He became the number one all-rounder in all formats of cricket in 2019, which is a remarkable achievement; Shakib Al Hasan is demonstrably a genius of the game.
Given these outstanding and consistent performances, Shakib can be termed a warrior, a winner and a champion cricketer. He is the pride of Bangladesh cricket, which has made our national team fans everywhere by his phenomenal exhibitions with both bat and ball. So it is undeniable that Shakib Al Hasan will be as sharp as he was before being suspended. We, the millions, if not billions, of cricket fans everywhere, have been eagerly awaiting the return of the best all-rounder in the world.
Mahde Hassan is studying English
at East West University