Shakib Al Hasan now has a dual identity. Cricket has brought him global fame beyond the country, two days ago, Shakib was also elected as a member of parliament in the twelfth national election of Bangladesh.
Mixing of politics and cricket is not the first in the world, not even in Bangladesh. In cricket, Mashrafe bin Mortazai was elected as a Member of Parliament in the 11th parliamentary elections while being a regular in the national team. Now Shakib also joined that list.
Now which identity is more comfortable Shakib – MP (Member of Parliament) or the captain of the Bangladesh national team? This is the question today in Shakib’s press conference. Shakib, however, gave a calm reply as usual.
The day after the election, that is yesterday, Shakib came into the headlines by joining the practice. Shakib, who has been out of the field since the World Cup due to BPL and injury, was also away from cricket due to his preoccupation with the elections. Naturally, his return to practice the day after the election is big news.
After yesterday’s indoor practice in Mirpur, Shakib practiced today at Bashundhara, for his franchise Rangpur Riders in the BPL. He met the journalists there. The first question that went to him was, ‘MP Shakib or Captain Shakib – by which name?’ Shakib’s calm reply came, ‘Call whatever you want, no problem.’
Shakib is also open to the question of what is the difference between winning the election and returning to the cricket field. The left-handed all-rounder replied, ‘I don’t know!’
No one knows better than Shakib how it was possible in such a short time to return to Dhaka from Magura that night and show up for practice the next morning despite the pressure of elections. But when that question was asked, Shakib’s answer was initially surprising, ‘What does that mean?’ Then came the explanation, ‘BPL is starting. You have to prepare. It’s been almost two and a half months (I’m) out of the field. Couldn’t do any fitness work, couldn’t do skill work. Naturally it will take time to build up. I didn’t want to waste any more time for that.’
Asked if he missed field cricket during this one-and-a-half month break, Shakib said, ‘I was injured. So there was no chance to miss. I mean, even if I was fit, I couldn’t play. Since I was injured, there was no chance to miss.’
Shakib’s nonchalance was also felt in the last question, when asked, how challenging is it to be an MP and a cricketer at the same time? Shakib’s simple answer, ‘As challenging as it needs to be, as challenging as it needs to be. What more!’