Bangladesh T20I skipper Mahmudullah said on Wednesday that they will miss Shakib al Hasan on their upcoming tour of India. On Tuesday, Shakib was banned by the ICC for failure to report corrupt approaches.
Bangladesh received a major blow, and shock, when their captain was handed a two-year ban (one of which is suspended) for breaching ICC’s Code of Conduct just ahead of an important tour. The team left for India on Wednesday (October 30) for a three-match T20I series, to be followed by two Tests with the players yet to come to terms with this latest development.
“Of course I think he is a major part of Bangladesh cricket. There’s no doubt about it. I think everyone is feeling sorry for him,” skipper Mahmudullah told reporters at the Dhaka airport before departure. “We know how important he is for our team. Maybe he did something wrong but not anything illegal. Our support is with him.”
Mushfiqur Rahim, who has shared many on-field partnerships with Shakib, said though the team will miss the experience of their former captain, the youngsters coming in should grab this opportunity.
“I have been playing with Shakib for many years now. Definitely we will miss him and without him it will be tough. If Shakib was injured instead of being suspended or even if I go out of the team for a year, it will be a huge opportunity for the young cricketers,” he said.
”If we play at their [India’s] home, there will be challenges. And if there is challenge, then there will be platform to play well. Everyone should pray for us to perform well and hope that when he returns he can comeback even stronger.”
Left-arm spinner Arafat Sunny will now be expected to lead the spin bowling department, who believes Shakib’s presence could have been more effective as he is well aware of the Indian conditions given his experience in the Indian Premier League.
“There’s no doubt that Shakib has put himself in top position as the best all-rounder. I feel that if he was there, it would have definitely helped us in bowling. He has played in India. A lot of times in the IPL. He has good knowledge about the wickets there. He would have specially helped me more. I will definitely miss him.”
Newly appointed skipper Mahmudullah is looking forward to the challenge though well aware that they face some very stiff competition against the hosts, India. “If we talk about inspiration, our national jersey is enough for that. There is nothing that can be more inspirational. We will try as a team to bring a good result,” said Mahmudullah.
“The statistics says that. They are unbeaten in last 11-12 series. This is going to be tough but nothing is impossible. We have to play really good as a team. We have to assure that we take all the chances and execute every opportunity. Then we can win. Our duty is to play at our best for the country. We will try to do that. And I think everyone will take that [Shakib’s absence] as motivation,” he added.© Cricbuzz