Shakib Al Hasan: The story behind No. 1 ODI all-rounder's two-year suspension
Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who was unarguably one of the finest players for his country in the 2019 ICC World, found himself embroiled in a huge controversy as the International Cricket Council's Anti-Corruption Unit found him guilty of not disclosing information on approaches regarding corruption. Shakib was charged with breaching the ICC Code of Conduct on three separate occasions, with the first instance being in 2017.
As confirmed by the ICC, Shakib was approached by someone named Mr. Aggarwal on multiple occasions with the latter seeking inside information across various cricket events. Here's a look at the story:
During the 2017 Bangladesh Premier League, Shakib's contact information was provided to Mr. Aggarwal by a known person. Aggarwal then approached Shakib to give him contacts of other players in the BPL. Agarwal also later asked the Bangladeshi cricketer to meet him.
In the 2018 Bangladesh – Sri Lanka – Zimbabwe tri-series, the two communicated over WhatsApp again and Shakib was even congratulated by Aggarwal for being named the Man of the Match in an ODI match. Then, Agarwal also sent a message to Shakib saying: “do we work in this or I wait till the IPL”. As per ICC, 'work' here meant providing inside information into the match. Later, Aggarwal once again approached Shakib asking, “Bro anything in this series?”
Even during the 2018 IPL, Shakib was asked whether a particular player was going to play during a Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Kings XI Punjab match. During one of the conversations, Shakib asked Aggarwal to meet him 'first' before dwelling further.
None of these incidents, however, were reported to by Shakib to the ACU, although the 32-year-old claimed that he never provided Aggarwal with any information into the matter.
What is Article 2.4.4 in ICC Code of Conduct?
“It is acknowledged that the fight against corruption requires prompt reporting of all such approaches and any unnecessary delay in doing so may undermine the effectiveness with which the ACU and other relevant anti-corruption bodies can protect the integrity of the sport. It is acknowledged that the assessment of whether there had been ‘unnecessary delay’ in each case will depend on its own circumstances, but it is always unacceptable (and will therefore constitute ‘unnecessary delay’) for a Participant to wait until after the match in respect of which he/she was invited to engage in Corrupt Conduct before reporting that approach to the ACU… . ”