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Kajal Agrawal

Bangladesh cricketer Shakib Al Hasan joins politics, set to contest 2024 polls Featured

  19 November 2023

Bangladeshi cricket icon Shakib Al Hasan has made a formal foray into politics, expressing his intent to participate in the upcoming general election on January 7.

Seeking a nomination from the ruling Bangladesh Awami League, Shakib obtained nomination forms on Saturday to vie for positions in three constituencies, according to Bahauddin Nasim, the Awami League joint secretary general, who shared this information with AFP.

Despite the planned boycott by significant opposition parties, Shakib's decision has been met with enthusiasm. Awami League's Bahauddin Nasim highlighted Shakib's celebrity status and widespread popularity among the country's youth, considering him a welcome addition to the political landscape. "He is a celebrity and has great popularity among the country's youth," Nasim said, welcoming the cricket all-rounder.

Shakib Al Hasan's candidacy awaits confirmation from the ruling party's parliamentary board, presided over by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.His aspirations involve competing for a seat, with preferences for either his home district of Magura in the southwestern region or a constituency in the capital city of Dhaka, as revealed by Nasim.

The ultimate decision on Shakib's political journey rests with Prime Minister Hasina, who has governed the South Asian nation of approximately 170 million people for the past 15 years. However, her leadership style has faced criticism for being perceived as authoritative.

With an almost certain return to power for a fourth term, particularly if the opposition proceeds with its boycott, Hasina's role in shaping the political landscape remains significant.

Under Hasina's leadership, Bangladesh has witnessed remarkable economic growth, yet concerns have been raised by Western nations regarding democratic erosion. Opposition parties have accused her of vote-rigging in the last two polls.

The shift from cricket to politics is not unprecedented in South Asia, where the sport holds immense popularity. However, choosing a political path during an active playing career is a relatively uncommon occurrence.

In 2018, former cricket captain Mashrafe Mortaza ventured into politics and successfully secured a position as a lawmaker from the ruling party later that same year. Mortaza, who captained Bangladesh in the 2019 World Cup, eventually stepped away from the cricketing arena to fully devote himself to his political pursuits.

Currently serving as Bangladesh's captain in all three formats, Shakib Al Hasan is presently recuperating from a finger injury. This ailment has led him to opt out of the upcoming Test series against New Zealand.

The injury was incurred during a World Cup match against Sri Lanka when Shakib made headlines with an unusual appeal against Angelo Mathews, leading to the first-ever timed out in international cricket.




Kajal Agarwal



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