Shakib will be welcomed with open arms: Mahmudullah


Top all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan indeed "made a mistake" but at the same time he "has not committed a crime,” Bangladesh’s T20I captain said on Saturday.

Shakib was banned by the ICC for two years (one year suspended) for not reporting corrupt approaches from an alleged Indian bookie during the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).

Mahmudullah Riyad told reporters that Shakib, the world’s top all-rounder, remains a loved character in Bangladesh cricket and will be welcomed with open arms.

"Let me tell you. We loved Shakib, still love Shakib and will continue loving Shakib. And when he comes back, he will be welcomed with open arms," Mahmudullah told reporters here ahead of the first T20 against India here on Sunday.

"When Shakib enters the dressing room, we will all give him a tight hug," the affable Bangladesh skipper said.

Mahmudullah said he looks forward to his team’s younger lot to step up and perform.

"That's an issue (Shakib issue) that has gone by. We are now focusing on the match tomorrow and win the game. Probably, it will be a proper opportunity for the younger guys to show up and stand up for the Bangladesh team," the captain said.

The Bangladesh skipper said that keeping in view the forthcoming World T20 Cup, to be held in Australia in October next year, Bangladesh need to achieve consistency in batting.

"We have been exposed every now and then. We can give enough runs or foundation to the bowlers to prove themselves," he said.

Mahmudullah said he was happy that Bangladesh have been able to unearth an effective wrist spinner in Aminul Islam Biplob to go with very strong fast bowling department.

"Young Biplob is a good find. We wanted to have a good wrist spinner in our side. He showed his potential in the last series against Afghanistan. But in India, the conditions will be different. India have been dominating series at their home. It's time for players to grab the opportunity," the Bangladesh captain said.

He said Bangladesh have good fast bowlers in Mashrafe (Mortaza) and Mutafizur Rahaman who who are experienced. It's a proper opportunity for us to show our performance in this tour.