Shakib Al Hasan poses with his player of the match award at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. File / Reuters
Shakib Al Hasan on Saturday was named to return as Bangladesh’s Twenty20 international captain after he bowed to a Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) ultimatum to scrap a deal with a betting site.
The all-rounder was given the nod to lead the side for the upcoming Asia Cup in the UAE and the World Cup in Australia.
“Shakib realised his mistake,” BCB cricket operations chief Jalal Yunus told reporters as he announced the decision.
“He is a very important player for us. He is still our best player. We had already decided on Shakib being the captain earlier, so we are sticking to it. He thought it was an online news website. He felt he was misguided.
“He has said he has terminated the (Betwinner) contract. We are hopeful he will not repeat it again. We have asked him not to commit such a mistake again. We have ended the whole thing.”
Earlier this month Shakib announced a partnership with Betwinner News, a portal operated by a gambling firm based in the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao.
He wrote on his social media pages that it was the “one and only source of sports news!”
Gambling is illegal in Bangladesh and he was forced to cancel the deal after the BCB president, Nazmul Hassan, issued an ultimatum ordering him to choose between the national team and Betwinner.
Shakib captained Bangladesh to seven wins and 14 defeats in 21 T20Is until he was banned for two years — one of them suspended — in 2019 after he failed to record corrupt approaches.
Shakib, who also returned as Test captain in July, replaces wicketkeeper-batsman Nurul Hasan as Bangladesh’s T20 skipper.
Bangladesh had missed the initial deadline for naming the Asia Cup squad, while the board sorted out the Shakib sponsorship issue
Nurul was retained in the Asia Cup squad despite undergoing surgery on a finger in Singapore last week in the hope that he would regain his fitness by the time the tournament starts on August 27 in Dubai.
“His stitches will be removed on August 21. Hopefully, the result will be positive,” said chief selector Minhajul Abedin.
Three-time Asia Cup finalists Bangladesh will face Sri Lanka and Afghanistan in Group B of the competition, with two teams progressing to the next round.
Former captain Mushfiqur Rahim also returned to the side after being rested for the T20 series in Zimbabwe, where Bangladesh lost a series against the hosts for the first time.
Pace bowler Ebadot Hossain was handed a place in the T20 side for the first time after he impressed in Tests and one-day internationals, while batsman Sabbir Rahman and all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin returned after a long gap.