T20 World Cup: Virender Sehwag-Shakib Al Hasan Controversy – Who Said What?

Bangladesh opener Imrul Kayes has extended support to compatriot Shakib and criticised Sehwag’s comments.

3 min read

Amidst the ongoing ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024, a controversy has erupted involving former India cricketer Virender Sehwag and Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan

The dispute began when Sehwag recently suggested that Shakib should consider retiring, after the former Bangladesh captain was dismissed cheaply in the first two games against Sri Lanka and South Africa, scoring just 8 and 3 runs respectively. Only a few days later, however, Shakib silenced his critics, by scoring an unbeaten 64 to help Bangladesh beat the Netherlands and qualify for the Super 8 of the tournament.

Following this, Bangladesh opener Imrul Kayes also extended support to compatriot Shakib and criticised Sehwag’s comments.

Let’s delve deeper into the details and see what everyone has said so far:


What Did Sehwag Say?

It all started when Sehwag opined that Shakib should have retired from the T20 format long ago, insisting that his recent performance in the shortest format has been 'shameful.'

Speaking to Cricbuzz, the former Indian batter said:

During the last World Cup, I thought he should no longer be picked for the T20 format. Time for retirement came a long time ago. You are such a senior player, you were the captain of this team. You should actually be ashamed of your recent numbers. You should come forward and announce yourself that enough is enough, I'm retiring from this format.
Virender Sehwag

He further added:

If you are picked in the World Cup squad for your experience, then show that it was actually worth it. You need to spend some time at the crease at least. You are not Adam Gilchrist or Mathew Hayden. Hooks and pulls are not your strengths You are a Bangladeshi player. You play according to your strength
Virender Sehwag

What Was Shakib's Reply to Sehwag?

The all-rounder responded to Sehwag's criticism following Bangladesh’s match against the Netherlands. When asked for his thoughts on Sehwag's comments, the 37-year-old simply replied: "Who?"

Shakib also said that a player's responsibility is not to respond to critics but to contribute to the team's success in every possible way.

Speaking at the post-match presentation, Shakib said:

A player never comes to answer any questions. A player's job is to bat for the team if he's a batsman and contributes to the team. If he is a bowler, his job is to bowl well. The wicket is about luck. If he is a fielder, he should save each run and take as many catches as he can. Here, actually, there's nothing to answer for anyone. I think it is important for a current player how much he can contribute to his team. When he can't contribute, then naturally there would be discussions and I don't think it is a bad thing.
Shakib Al Hasan

How Did Imrul Kayes React?

Bangladesh opener Imrul Kayes has also weighed in on Sehwag's bold statement, implying that Sehwag's perceived 'lack of respect' could stem from not achieving the same level of admiration as fellow cricketing legends like Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar.

Shakib didn't become Shakib-Al-Hasan in 1 or 2 days. He is the No. 1 ICC all-rounder, not once but for a long time, and across formats. A player like him needs to be treated with respect, which Virender Sehwag didn't get in his career. So he probably knows nothing about respect or giving respect to others.
Imrul Kayes

Kayes even went on to add:

This is not the first time he has said such things about Bangladesh or its cricketers. He did this once earlier as well when he said Bangladesh don't have the ability to pick 20 wickets in a Test match. I don't know what a legendary batter like him thinks before making such statements. Biggies like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid would never pull down a player because they know how to respect other players.
Imrul Kayes
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