An anticlimactic end to the impasse that had plagued Bangladesh cricket over the last week could not have been more devastating than what actually transpired relating to Shakib Al Hasan and the International Cricket Council (ICC) ruling that accounted for the penalty imposed on him.
What seemed an innocuous yet undesirable confrontation between the players and the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) administration and an issue that actually jolted the cricketing fraternity with tongues wagging to and fro ended in the most bizarre of manners.
What had begun as an unprecedented revolt by the players led by Shakib Al Hasan, the demands were presented before the media that cast aspersions to the overall functions and credibility of the BCB. To make matters worse, the players sought legal assistance to the extent that a lawyer was made to put forward their case before an overly keen media.
All could have been made less objectionable if the powers that be had not acceded to their proposal, barring one, that it considered not within its domain - and that is the resignation of the officials of the CWAB.
The BCB, in fact, accepted all their demands in good grace and felt they were not unreasonable and rather promised immediate solutions to a few of them. In keeping with their promise, the BCB enhanced the players' fees substantially in the shortest possible time.
What irked the authorities was the timing of the episode as it was coinciding with a very important tour of India and the players' abstaining from practice and boycotting all cricketing activities.
Livid as Nazmul Hassan Papon was the president of the board and, in an obvious lashing out at the players' audacity in effect, made his outburst look rather personal and a fight that made him look like the culprit.
The media personnel who were having a field day started to lick their lips and were busy trying to add salt to the wound by hinting at a possible cancellation of the trip and felt it was the president's dictatorial approach that had led to such a collision.
Just when an amicable solution had been reached did Shakib take the centre stage. First came the sponsorship deal with the Grameenphone that was in clear violation of the contract between the player and the board, and later, the letter sent by the BCB requesting him to explain the situation.
The delay in responding to the letter and the nonchalance of Shakib had made the president so jittery that he was hinting at actions that might lead to difficult times.
Before the announcement of the final squad for the India tour that was being contemplated minus Shakib was opened up a Pandora's box. It actually ended the agonising wait with Shakib being banned by the ICC for his non-reporting of approaches made to him by a bookie. It rattled the entire country and the cricketing world.
The world's greatest all-rounder, falling from grace for his offence under ICC laws, may not have come as a surprise to the man himself but left all and sundry clueless with their jaws hanging.
Enduring the most testing period in the history of Bangladesh cricket before the trip to India and naming of two new captains must have been an arduous task for the selectors in particular and for a team minus the mercurial Shakib Al Hasan. Never has any team embarked on a tour as this one with controversies laced all around and that against a team looking dangerously ominous and looking to inflict further damage to an already sagging morale.
The onus is now on the players as it would require superhuman efforts on their part to raise their game to the level where they will not succumb like the South Africans who were made to look absolutely pedestrian.
Even Dav Whatmore had recently said the Tigers presently were a better side than the Proteas and expected a good tussle between India and Bangladesh. Even though the comparison may appear outrageously exaggerated, it is the T20 format of the game Bangladesh would look to excel without Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan.
A completely transformed side India, during recent times, look simply invincible and a team that boasts of a pace attack effective under all conditions. The likes of Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav can wreak havoc on batsmen of any team, and Jasprit Bumrah, who will be out of the series due to injury, is presently the leading fast bowlers of the world. Such is the confidence level of the team that it can afford to rest its captain Virat Kohli and try its increasingly talented bench strength.
The prospects of a day-night Test match with pink balls in Kolkata may look intriguing and an encounter that can be made to look interesting and competitive should our boys play to their potentials.
One can only hope the players while undertaking the trip, let the recent happenings be a matter of the past and unite once again as they did recently and bring laurels to the country and should consider it payback time.