This is shocking, but nothing shocks anymore
THE distressing thing about cricket’s top all-rounder being banned for interacting with a dodgy bookmaker is that no one seems distressed by it.
Not cricket fans (outside Bangladesh). Not officials. Or even the media. Collectively we are punch drunk over the corruption issue.
Nothing shocks anymore
— even if it should.
Bangladesh’s superstar allrounder Shakib Al Hasan has been banned for a year by the International Cricket Council for failing to report three approaches from a bookmaker whose dealings have long been a focus of the game’s corruption police. The tone of the WhatsApp messages from Dubai bookmaker Deepak Aggarwal to Shakib were, quite frankly, disturbing.
It’s not as if Aggarwal started with “let me introduce myself …’’ Instead he wrote in January last year: “Do we work in this or I wait until IPL?” and, the equally intriguing, “Bro anything in this series?”
He certainly didn’t sound l i ke a stranger to the man he was conversing with. One of the messages asked for Shakib’s bank account details before Shakib told the bookie he wanted to meet him “first’’.
Some people have criticised the ICC for failing to conclude whether there was any deeper links between the two but there was a hint of Al Capone’s tax-evasion charges with this one. The ICC nailed the charges that were beyond dispute.
What happened beyond the initial contact is not known and we make no accusations. But it must be said the oneyear ban still seems like a pathetically light sentence.
After his sentence was announced, Shakib said all the right things about working with authorities and helping youngsters avoid similar traps, but nothing he said changed the thinking that if anyone should have been above this sort of rubbish it was him.