Shakib Al Hasan is undoubtedly the biggest name to have emerged from Bangladesh cricket. The 33-year old had a stellar 2019 World Cup where he scored a staggering 606 runs and claimed 11 wickets in 8 matches.
The all-rounder opened up about his preparations ahead of the tournament as well as some other things in 'Cricbuzz in conversation' with Harsha Bhogle.
Shakib couldn't live up to the expectations in the previous editions of the World Cup he participated in. Shakib had a combined tally of 540 runs and 23 wickets in 21 matches across the previous three World Cups. But he was determined to make amends this time around: "Towards the end of 2018, I realised I hadn't performed to my potential in the previous World Cups. So it was time I did something special."
Shakib was playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) prior to the World Cup. But things did not turn up well there. "I played a couple of games and then was dropped from the side. With all the overseas players performing so well, I realised I had hardly any chance to play the whole tournament. I had thought that the IPL would have helped the prepare well for the World Cup, but not to be."
Shakib thanked Tom Moody, the head coach of Sunrisers Hyderabad to let him bring his childhood coach from Bangladesh for extra training: "I must thank Tom (Moody) that he allowed me to bring Salahuddin Sir (Mohammad Salahuddin) from Bangladesh. I worked with him for two weeks. To be honest, I didn't change too many things. It's just that I always feel comfortable working with him. Sometimes a couple of words or slight changes can change things altogether. Because I believe our childhood coaches know our game better than us."
Shakib felt much better after the two-week training and was raring to go. "To be honest, I had prepared extremely well for the World Cup, more than anything I had ever done before my career. Boarding the flight, I was not thinking about the tri-nation series at all. I was only visualizing the first World Cup game against South Africa."
Shakib was at his very best in the 2019 World Cup, both with the ball and with the bat. Despite his stellar showing, Bangladesh could not win more than three games. But Shakib is definitely looking forward to the next World Cup. "I have been playing with Tamim (Iqbal) and Mushfiqur (Rahim) since I was a kid. For now, we will look forward to the 2023 World Cup. If we can do well there, then probably we can look back to our career with a smile on our faces when the three of us retire," Shakib said.
Shakib is now staying in the United States, spending time with his family especially his newborn daughter. The veteran Bangladesh all-rounder has been serving a one-year ban handed by ICC after he was found to have breached three of ICC's code of conducts.