"Shakib is officially human"
After Shakib couldn't stop a four with a valiant effort at the boundary, Ian Smith declared Shakib al Hasan as human from the comm-box. Well, what he did till then, surely raised the question about him being human. 51 runs in a tough pitch batting first, and then a five-wicket haul to completely decimate the Afghan bowling lineup - all-round performances like this one doesn't happen now and then, only one man did it before. That was Yuvraj Singh in 2011, in the tournament where he was adjudged Man of the Tournament. And this time around, Shakib is undoubtedly the best player of the tournament, at least till now.
Such mercurial performances from Shakib has left people around the globe spellbound, and this states how he has been underrated over the years. Shakib producing such brilliant performances isn't something out of the blue, you look back and watch his career and you'll see, he has been delivering since the start. Everyone remembers Tamim Iqbal's crushing fifty against India in the 2007 World Cup, what people oversee is Shakib scored a fifty that day too. He has been the number one all-rounder in the world for a decade, but the world hardly took notice. The only reason was, he plays for Bangladesh, not one of the game's elites. Shakib has broken records along his way and he has been doing it far away from the spotlight, but no more. He chose the grandest stage to tell the world to take notice, and now they must.
606 runs and 11 wickets, nobody had done this in a World Cup ever. Yes, nobody. Kapil Dev, Ian Botham, Imran Khan, Jacques Kallis, Lance Klusener, Yuvraj Singh - legends of the game played and tried, but Shakib is the first one to achieve that feat. He sits alone among the stars, at the top of them all.
He became the first Bangladeshi to score a thousand runs in the World Cups and now sits 16th and 17th consecutively on the highest run scorers and highest wicket-takers list. And there is no one who is in the top 20 of both. Shakib al Hasan is the only player ever to both score 1000 runs and pick up 30 wickets in World Cups, yes, the Bangladeshi flawed genius is the only member of this elite club.
Some people might frown at the word 'flawed". But sadly that is the truth. He has been deemed arrogant, greedy and selfish in his own country, but Shakib has overcome every single criticism of him with his performance. When Shakib was asked about his criticism, he replied smiling that he didn't see those. Or simply, he doesn't care. He is the best Bangladesh has ever produced, and he's one of the best the world has ever seen. And without a shade of doubt, the best all-rounder of his time.
But Shakib's greatest achievement is his rise to prominence with an underachieving team. When Shakib debuted, Bangladesh had a hard time winning against Zimbabwe. After 13 years, Bangladesh fight for the semis in a World Cup.
This belief that the current team, current players have of they can win against anybody, came from Shakib al Hasan. When Shakib became the best all-rounder in ODIs, Bangladesh were the ninth-ranked team in the world. But Shakib showed them that even from here, anyone could do it, anyone can reach the top, beating the elites. Shakib inspired a whole generation to become world-beaters, and this team Bangladesh have now, Shakib is not just one of the big fives. He is the one who was instrumental to bring them here. New Zealand was whitewashed by a Bangladesh team carried by Shakib, and there are countless occasions where Shakib single-handedly carried the team. Mashrafe once said, "Shakib is a brand." A damn truth. He is not just a brand in his country, but also worldwide. Shakib is the player every team fear before facing Bangladesh, and rightly so. Because he can rip you off with such ease, such elegance.
Shakib is not the best of batsmen, nor he's a big turner of the ball. But still he's called "Superman" in his country for the herculean performances, and you might ask sometimes, how does he do that? With his head. Shakib is one of the best game readers the world has ever seen, he plays more with his head than anything. Shakib is one of the best of his generation, and the world needed to notice that.
And Shakib made them take notice. It has been too long that they have ignored him, and now they must cover it up, they must stand and applause. Shakib al Hasan might be human, but he's the mightiest of humans. And he's left no way but to accept it. The storm named Shakib is now at his prime, and there's no way but to bow.