Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan insisted that he is relieved that his ban is finally over and added that he is ready to take time to prepare himself for competitive cricket.
Shakib returned home on November 5 and will be eyeing to get ready for international commitments by taking part in the upcoming Bangabandhu T20 tournament, scheduled to be held from third week of November.
Shakib went through a one-year ban for not disclosing multiple conversations with an Indian bookmaker ended on October 28 and upon landing at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Shakib joked with the media personnel waiting for him on Friday.
“It feels great to see you all here. This time, there is a sense of satisfaction when I return to the country which was missing earlier. Now my responsibility is to return all your love, prayer and support as well,” Shakib told reporters at the airport.
“Of course, there is a difference and it feels relieving,” he said.
“Before it was like, I am returning after playing a series around or returning from a tour but this time I have returned from work. And the pressure I had, it’s not there now,” said Shakib.
Shakib added that he is eyeing to repay the faith and love of his countrymen through performing in the coming days but added he is well aware that he will need some time.
Shakib reclaimed his number one spot in ICC one-day international all-rounder’s ranking on Wednesday, less than a week after his one-year suspension from cricket ended.
The rankings were published after the completion of Pakistan-Zimbabwe ODI series, where the ace all-rounder reclaimed his top-spot despite not taking part in any fifty-over match for over a year.
ICC dropped Shakib from the rankings after his suspension began and his rating points also dropped to 373 from 394 during his suspension period.
After Shakib’s re-inclusion in the rankings, Afghan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi slipped to second position with 301 rating points while English all-rounders Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes remained in the third and fourth position respectively with 281 and 276 points.
“See, I didn’t do anything. I will try to improve and also will try to surpass my previous best performance as well. Now my focus will be on how I will repay everyone. I am thankful to each and every one for their support. All I can say, I will try my level best to repay everyone,” told Shakib.
“I can only hope that things work out soon but I don’t want to rush. Like everyone, I also need time and I will try to make myself as fit as I was previously,” he said adding that he is eyeing to make the Bangabandhu T20 a platform for his preparation.
“Actually, every game is important for a player. My preparation would be good if I could take part in the entire tournament. Since the West Indies tour is coming, this tournament will play a key role for us and every player will get the chance to prepare well,” he said adding that he is not sure whether he is fully fit as he is expected to take part in a fitness test ahead of the competition.
“I can only get to know about the state of my fitness during the fitness test. But I know where I was, I am currently not in that position. I started training in between and was in a good shape too and if I could maintain that, I would have been in a good position too,” Shakib said pointing to his stint at Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan (BKSP) where he practiced for a month.
“But this break of one month cost me my fitness. I need a bit of time to get in form and I believe I will regain it with as the tournament progresses.
Shakib spent a busy a day as he inaugurated a super-shop in the capital hours after returning from USA, where he stayed with his in-laws for most part of his one year ban.