The World Cup has suddenly turned into a long, tough journey for Bangladesh skipper Sakib al Hasan after he did very little to motivate his beleaguered side other than drag himself into some unnecessary disputes.
Always known for his carefully careless attitude, Sakib first hit the headline for a wrong reason in the World Cup when he retorted to a question about his game-plan with regards to the West Indies game, prior to the match, which eventually ended in a humiliating nine-wicket defeat.
His indecent gesture towards the spectators after the game was a subject of long discussion in country’s cricketing corridor, though it did not get as much media attention as it deserved.
The stoning of the West Indies team bus by an unruly fan has largely overshadowed Sakib’s act, which was heavily criticised by a former England captain in a television channel with global credential.
When the Bangladesh Cricket Board was trying their best to suppress the incident, Sakib stoked a new controversy by attacking former cricketers for criticising his team, through a newspaper column.
Dubbing the former cricketers a commoner, Sakib reminded them of their own failings as players.
The BCB stepped in with a blanket ban on any of Bangladesh’s World Cup players writing a newspaper column during tournament, which independent observers say will hardly end the debate.
The BCB had imposed a similar ban before the World Cup, which forced opener and Vice-captain Tamim Iqbal to put his column in an English language daily on hold, until the end of the tournament.
But Sakib continued to defy the ban as his contract (already expired) with the BCB did not prohibited him in doing so. The BCB did not want to make it an issue in the middle of a tournament of this magnitude, which only helped Sakib to take advantage.
The officials raised their voice finally when former skippers reacted sharply to his column.
It however remained unclear if Sakib would still defy the new ban and continue to write his column.
If his off-field performance put his iconic status in danger, Sakib has plenty to do on the field as well to retain his status as leading one-day all-rounder in the world, which is very much at stake.
The latest official ranking released by the ICC on Monday showed Australia’s Shane Watson significantly close the gap on him and Watson can now dethrone him from the position of the number one all-rounder, anytime.
With a consistent performance in the World Cup, Watson took his rating points to 405, only eight points behind Sakib, who has held
the top position since January 2009.
Sakib had a chance to strengthen his position in the World Cup, but three wickets in three games and 79 runs averaging 26.33 did not help his cause at all.
With his team struggling to make it to the World Cup quarter-final and his personal form dipping, Sakib is now busy battling other
fronts, which bears ominous signs for him and Bangladesh.
Courtesy of New Age