Full name: Shakib Al Hasan
Current age: 27 years 364 days
Major teams: Bangladesh, Adelaide Strikers, Bangladesh A, Bangladesh Cricket Board XI, Barbados Tridents, Dhaka Gladiators, Khulna Division, Kolkata Knight Riders, Worcestershire
Also known as: Saqibul Hasan
Playing role: Allrounder
Batting style: Left-hand bat
Bowling style: Slow left-arm orthodox
A talented left-hand batsman and left-arm spinner, Shakib Al Hasan is unarguably the best cricketer that Bangladesh have ever had. As a bowler, he is accurate, consistent, and canny; and his aggression and a wide range of strokes are the keys to his batting. Even more importantly, he has self-belief an excellent temperament, unflustered by the big occasion and ready to do battle against the top teams.
The best of his ability and temperament were on display in his first Test as captain, against a weakened West Indies side in Grenada, when Shakib took eight wickets and scored an unbeaten 96 in a tense but successful fourth-innings run-chase of 215, leading Bangladesh to their first overseas series victory. In only his fourth Test as captain, Shakib scored 87 and 100 – his maiden Test century – in a losing cause against New Zealand in Hamilton, performances that offered further proof of his skill and his ability to handle pressure. And the same opponents in 2008, Shakib had taken 7 for 36 in Chittagong, only the second instance of a Bangladesh bowler taking seven or more wickets in a Test innings.
In the ODIs, Shakib’s contributions been equally vital with both bat and ball, and he became the first from Bangladesh to achieve the double of 2000 runs and 100 wickets. He also became the first batsman from Bangladesh to score five hundreds, despite mostly batting at No.5.
Being clearly the best player of the team, it wasn’t surprising when Shakib was handed the captaincy in 2009. His ability to perform consistently with both bat and ball, and his tendency to stay calm under pressure worked well for Bangladesh, as they won 22 out of 47 games under him, and even beat England in the 2011 World Cup. However, the World Cup campaign was followed by a disappointing tour of Zimbabwe, where Bangladesh lost the one-off Test and the ODI series, which led to Shakib’s ouster as captain.