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Shakib Isn’t Wrong To Prioritize Club Over Country

Shakib Isn’t Wrong To Prioritize Club Over Country

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have banned all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan from all forms of international Cricket for the next six months. Shakib will also not be granted an NOC to play in overseas competitions until the end of 2015. The ban has been handed due to the former captain’s “serious misbehaviour” with Bangladesh’s new coach Chandika Hathurusingha, and for an altercation with a spectator during the recent ODI series against India in Mirpur.

The ban comes after the BCB President Nazmul Hasan came to know that Shakib had apparantely threatened the coach Hathurusingha that he would quit playing international cricket for Bangladesh. Shakib threatened the coach who had at that time asked him to return from the CPL by the 1st of August, and therefore cut his CPL stint with the Barbados Tridents.

This clearly seems a case of club vs. country, where a player is eager to play the full season for his club rather than prioritize playing for the national team. This is not the first time when there has been such conflict for Bangladeshi players. In 2013, Bangladesh’s tour of Zimbabwe clashed with the IPL, which meant that Shakib and Tamim Iqbal would miss the lucrative T20 tournament.

If one sees the player’s perspective here, you can hardly fault him. After all, he plays for a country whose international team is still not strong enough to win global tournaments. Also, Bangladesh hardly go on any foreign tours through which they can develop themselves. And more often than not, the sides which are touring are also the second string teams, indicating the quality of Cricket the nation is exposed to. What is even more sad for the nation is that even the second string sides beat them easily. So is it really wrong for the player to play in foreign leagues and be a part of more competitive Cricket? He’s definitely improving as a player, isn’t that what everyone aspires towards?

No one can help the fact that there will be many more such cases in the future. The onus is the on the respective boards to look after the players’ interests and allow them to gather as much exposure as they possibly can. Clearly, there wasn’t much need for Shakib to be called 20 days before the start of a series, especially if he was already engaged in some form of cricket. He could’ve easily been called after the 10th of August, when his franchise plays its last game.

The situation which remains to be seen is whether Cricket, like Football, starts to go down the same lane with players more keen to secure the financial side of things by pursuing league-based Cricket.

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