A viral video of Bangladesh cricket captain Shakib Al Hasan slapping a fan has surfaced on the internet, triggering a major controversy following his victory in Bangladesh’s general election.
In a video that has now gone viral, the cricketer was seen smacking a fan amid a crowd surrounding him, not long before the news of him clinching a seat in his country’s parliament emerged.
While it is yet to be ascertained when and where this incident took place, a section of netizens have claimed that the altercation may have happened a week before the polls’ results were announced.
The cricketer is known for his short temper on the field too. Now, he was also seen losing off the field as the fan approached him during what appeared to be a polling station where he arrived to cast a vote with several people surrounding him as he left, as per the video.
While on the field, he has been seen arguing angrily with umpires multiple times and also kicking the stumps once when a decision was not announced in his favour.
One of his most recent “disgraceful” acts was during last year’s Asia Cup when he was slammed for having Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews dismissed for ‘timed out’, which had never before happened in international cricket.
Mathews expressed his disappointment at Shakib’s act and said: “I have two minutes to get to the crease and get myself ready, which I did. And then it was an equipment malfunction. And I don’t know where the common sense went, because obviously it’s disgraceful from Shakib and Bangladesh.”
The cricketer added that he still had “five more seconds to go after my helmet broke off.”
“I wasn’t trying to waste time. I wasn’t trying to get advantage of anything. It was just pure equipment malfunction,” added Mathews.
Win in polls
The Bangladeshi skipper won a seat in the country’s parliament on Sunday after a landslide victory in a general election boycotted by the opposition, an official said.
The 36-year all-rounder, who leads the country in all formats of the game, beat his rival by a margin of more than 150,000 votes in his constituency in the western town of Magura, the district’s chief administrator Abu Naser Beg said.
“It was a landslide victory,” he said.
There is no immediate comment from the cricketer, a candidate of the ruling Awami League party of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is herself widely expected to win a fifth term in power after the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) boycotted the vote.
Shakib, speaking ahead of the election, conceded he was not facing any serious obstacle but told AFP the contest still made him anxious.
“The competition and challenges are always there, be it a small team or big team,” he said.
Shakib’s campaign obliged him to take a temporary leave of absence from cricket.
He has bristled at the suggestion he would not be able to balance his duties as a lawmaker and a cricket captain.
“Did I retire?” he asked during campaigning. “If I haven’t retired, then where does this question come from?”
Shakib is the only person to have been ranked the number-one all-rounder in all three formats simultaneously by the International Cricket Council.
— Additional input from AFP