Bangladesh cricketer Shakib Al Hasan can consider himself a lucky man. After having admitted that he committed three separate breaches of the relevant International Cricket Council (ICC) anti-corruption law, he has been suspended for two years, of which 12 months is suspended.
In effect, it is a one-year sentence. A rap on the knuckles given what happened.
Into the 14th year of his international career, he has played more than 300 international matches. He is well acquainted with the anti-corruption law and attended many anti-corruption education sessions.
Moreover, Shakib Hasan had even reported about a decade ago an approach he received to engage in corrupt practice.
Therefore, ignorance cannot be a rationale for what happened between November 2017 and April-May 2018.
During that period, Hasan was approached by a Mr. Aggarwal to provide inside information of the teams and games he was playing in.
These games spanned international matches where he represented his country and also his IPL stint.
The details of the WhatsApp messages make it evident that Hasan was almost certainly toying with the idea of acting on the requests of the persistent Mr. Aggarwal.
Hasan even wanted to meet with Mr. Aggarwal.
According to Hasan, eventually nothing came of it and he did not receive any pay-offs nor did he provide information.
However, for a player who followed the law and reported on an approach by an unsavoury character over a decade ago, the exchanges with Mr. Aggarwal strongly hint that he was wavering. There were three approaches made over a few months, but not one of them was reported.
By his own standard, as evidenced by his track record, Hasan has fallen. The bigger problem is a blatant violation of the law.
Given that, he is lucky to get away with what is effectively a one-year sentence.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.