Bangladesh cricket star Shakib eyes new role in politics

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Cricket Star Shakib Al Hasan equates election challenge to facing a formidable team.

BANGLADESH, Jan 2: In a significant shift from the cricket pitch to the political stage, the vibrant Bangladeshi cricketer Shakib Al Hasan is on the brink of securing a position as a lawmaker for the ruling party, amidst the opposition’s boycott of the general elections on Sunday. As a standout all-rounder and the 36-year-old captain, Shakib has energetically campaigned for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s party, virtually ensuring his victory in the political arena.

Acknowledging the withdrawal of the opposition, which cited concerns about fairness, Shakib recognizes the competitiveness of the election. He compares the experience to facing a formidable cricket team, expressing a sense of anxiety. Currently contesting a seat in Magura for Hasina’s Awami League, Shakib temporarily set aside his cricketing duties, including skipping a tour to New Zealand.

Addressing questions about the challenging task of balancing his roles as a lawmaker and cricket captain, Shakib dismisses concerns, making it clear that he has not retired from cricket. Clad in a traditional white tunic, he actively engages with crowds, playfully interacts with supporters, and graciously poses for selfies with fans.

While Shakib’s political campaign has garnered enthusiastic supporters, the turnout remains relatively modest for a sports star of his stature. As the only player to simultaneously hold the number-one all-rounder ranking in all three formats, Shakib’s cricket career has been marked by both success and controversy.

Focusing on the election, Shakib emphasizes the importance of unity to counter the impact of the opposition’s boycott. The political landscape has been marred by arrests of opposition figures over violence charges and allegations of stifling credible opposition, adding a layer of controversy to the unfolding scenario.

In defense of Prime Minister Hasina’s rights record, Shakib praises her as a role model, highlighting Bangladesh’s progress despite numerous challenges. His transition into politics aligns with a broader trend in South Asia, where cricketing icons often leverage their popularity to enter political spheres.

Brushing off comparisons with political figures like Imran Khan, Shakib asserts his concentration on current aspirations rather than distant dreams. Hoping his cricketing appeal resonates with voters, he embraces the election as a new challenge in his evolving journey.

Reflecting on his unexpected two-decade-long cricketing career, Shakib expresses a willingness to adapt dreams as time progresses. He emphasizes the fulfillment of one target before contemplating the next chapter in his remarkable trajectory, showcasing a thoughtful perspective on his evolving role in the public sphere.

Shakib succinctly states, “I haven’t retired. If I haven’t retired, then where does this question come from?” as he faces the intersection of his cricketing legacy and political aspirations.

This news has been read 399 times!

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