Disgraced star with bookie link banned from BBL
A Big Bash League club has failed in a brazen move to open talks with disgraced superstar Shakib al-Hasan, after an enquiry about him was immediately vetoed by Cricket Australia integrity chiefs.
Shakib was the world's No.1 all-rounder last year when he was sensationally busted interacting with a dodgy bookmaker and banned by the International Cricket Council for 12 months.
Official Cricket Australia protocol dictates that BBL clubs must seek permission from Cricket Australia Integrity before engaging in talks with any overseas player, regardless of their history.
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Sources say Shakib - whose suspension expired on October 29 - had his name put forward as a potential target for BBL recruitment, but the bid was instantly blown up on the tarmac by CA's integrity police, who made it clear that it would be unlikely any contract, if offered, would be approved.
Bangladeshi icon Shakib is a proven former star of the BBL, following successful stints with the Melbourne Renegades and Adelaide Strikers and he has been welcomed back by Bangladesh now that his controversially light punishment is over.
However, Cricket Australia has made no apologies for its zero tolerance stance on anti-corruption matters in the past and made a swift decision they did not want the BBL to be associated with a player with that kind of shady history.
Shakib conceded in a remorseful YouTube press conference this week that he would have to accept that in the eyes of some, his name may now be mud.
"It is not easy to know about everyone's feelings," said the 33-year-old, who was ultimately never offered a BBL deal.
"They may doubt me or not trust me. I am not denying it.
"But I have been in touch with almost everyone (in Bangladesh team) so I haven't felt it among them. I am hopeful it won't be a problem and they will keep believing in me like they used to. But it is not impossible for them to have a bit of doubt. There wouldn't be any regret about it."
Shakib was caught red handed failing to report three approaches from Dubai bookmaker Deepak Aggarwal, who has long been on the watchlist of the game's anti-corruption police.
The tone of the WhatsApp messages from Aggarwal to Shakib were disturbing, with one message asking:
"Do we work in this or I wait until IPL?" And another asking, "Bro anything in this series?"
One of the messages asked for Shakib's bank account details before Shakib replied to the bookie that he wanted to meet him "first".
The ICC did not establish any deeper links between the two, but failing to report an illegal approach is an offence in itself.
Cricket Australia integrity bosses detailed last summer the extraordinary amounts of money being bet on Big Bash matches by illegal gambling rings in the sub-continent when it explained its hardline decision to ban WBBL player Emily Smith for an innocuous breach of the anti-corruption code.
Smith had breached protocols by publishing a Hurricanes team list on social media, which was intended as a joke at her own expense - but CA were adamant that all players had been extensively educated about the rules and the important reasons for why they exist.
Originally published as Disgraced star with bookie link banned from BBL