Shakib Al Hasan was handed out a two-year ban from international cricket by the International Cricket Council [ICC] on Tuesday as he didn't report three corrupt approaches from a bookie.
The ban, out of which, one year was suspended received mixed reactions from the public and media as people took to social media to express their displeasure regarding the punishment or lack of it.
But, who is the man behind Shakib's downfall from the face of Bangladesh cricket to someone, who failed to set an example for the younger generation? According to ICC, it's Deepak Aggarwal, someone, who has been a regular on the international circuit and reportedly a promoter of a planned T20 league.
As the dust settles in on the fiasco, sources close to the ICC anti-corruption have revealed that Aggarwal hails from Sonepat in Haryana and is now based out of Dubai. Not only that, he also runs a cricket academy in National Capital Region.
"Aggarwal came on Dubai’s ICC anti-corruption unit’s radar because of his suspicious movement during a game in Abu Dhabi. After that he was put under surveillance and this brought to light his frequent interactions with Hasan," The Indian Express quoted the source as saying.
According to the source, Aggarwal started his business from Haryana but soon shifted to Dubai after suffering losses.
"We understand he isn’t the kingpin of the match-fixing syndicate but works for a Gwalior-based bookie, who is also on the ICC radar. Aggarwal is a runner of sorts whose job is to get in touch with players and lure them into giving inside information about the games they are involved in. Since even the smallest league these days attracts thousands of betters, any kind of inside information helps bookies," the source said.
"Aggarwal would follow players he had targeted wherever they were playing. In the initial meeting, Aggarwal would offer a hefty amount to players to be part of a league which he would say he was planning. Once he won their confidence, he would then inquire about team composition and possible scores," he went on to add as to how Aggarwal operates.
The ICC’s press release Tuesday about Shakib’s ban confirmed Aggarwal’s actions and movements. The global cricket body said that the first interaction between the alleged bookie and Shakib took place in mid-November of 2017 during the Bangladesh Premier League. Shakib was playing for Dhaka Dynamites. The all-rounder, when questioned by ICC, had said that a person who was known to him had provided his contact number to Aggarwal.
ICC's press release on Tuesday regarding the ban handed out to Shakib confirmed that Shakib has been in touch with the alleged person over WhatsApp and Aggarwal even congatulated him for becoming man of the match during the tri-series involving Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.
A second text followed from Aggarwal: “Do we work in this or wait til (sic) the IPL.” This was in reference providing inside information.
Aggarwal and Shakib continued to stay in touch during the tri-series and on January 23, another approach to Shakib was made for inside information: “Bro anything in this series,” the WhatsApp message read.
Aggarwal once again got in touch with Shakib in April during the IPL during his stint with Sunrisers Hyderabad. This time the information wanted was if someone was playing in the playing XI. Aggarwal also enquired about Shakib's 'dollar account' and mentioned bitcoins. Shakib also indulged in this as he wanted to meet Aggarwal personally first.
Shakib in his two interviews with the ACU has said that he didn't take any money or aid from Aggarwal and didn't provide him with any information.