DHAKA - Star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan pledged Sunday to "behave in a more mature way" in future as he begged Bangladesh cricket authorities to review a six-month ban for bad behaviour. Shakib, the country's most popular sportsman, made a passionate public plea to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) which imposed the ban this month because of his "severe attitude problem".
"Nothing can be more painful than staying away from cricket," Shakib, the world's leading all-rounder, said in his first comments since the ban. "I sincerely apologise to the BCB and the Bangladesh cricket team if they are embarrassed at my behaviour," the 27-year-old said.
Reading out a statement after filing for a review of his suspension at BCB headquarters, Shakib said he accepted that he had not acted "properly on many occasions". He apologised to the fans "who were always supportive of the Bangladesh cricket team".
"I am determined to behave in a more mature way in the future," he said outside the headquarters in Dhaka. Shakib, the best cricketer Bangladesh has ever produced, was banned from all forms of competitive cricket for six months, ruling him out of Bangladesh's tour of the West Indies in August. Shakib, who has a history of discipline problems, was also barred from playing in any cricket leagues abroad until December next year -- even after his ban on international cricket expires.
The suspension came after he reportedly threatened to quit international cricket when he was called back to Dhaka before his planned appearance in the Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 tournament. BCB president Nazmul Hassan said Shakib was travelling to the Caribbean without any clearance from the BCB. He had also "misbehaved" with the new national coach Chandika Hathurusinghe, Hassan said without giving any details.
"The Bangladesh team is above everything to me. I always play for it giving everything and I will give everything for the Bangladesh team in future," Shakib said. "I have grown up at the BCB with the Bangladesh team. It is a very emotional place for me. From that position I appeal to the board to reconsider my suspension." Shakib was banned for three matches in February for an indecent gesture to local fans, a suspension that kept him out of key Asia Cup matches.
Last month Shakib beat up a spectator who reportedly used abusive language against the player's wife during an Bangladesh-India match. The left-hander has played 34 Tests, scoring 2,278 runs with a batting average of 37.96 and taken 122 wickets, the country's highest. He has played 134 one-day internationals scoring 3,835 runs and taking 171 wickets.