Bangladeshi cricket superstar Shakib Al Hasan has made a foray into politics, as he seeks a nomination from the ruling Bangladesh Awami League to run in the upcoming general election on January 7. Shakib has taken nomination forms from the party to contest in three constituencies in the election, according to Awami League joint secretary general Bahauddin Nasim. Despite major opposition parties boycotting the polls, Nasim welcomed Shakib into the political arena, citing his popularity among the country’s youth. Shakib’s candidature still needs to be confirmed by a ruling party parliamentary board led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He intends to contest a seat either in his hometown of Magura or in the capital city of Dhaka.
Prime Minister Hasina has been in power for the past 15 years and is expected to secure a fourth term if the opposition’s boycott persists. While cricketers venturing into politics is not uncommon in South Asia, it is rare for them to do so while still actively playing. However, former cricket captain Mashrafe Mortaza joined politics in 2018 and was elected as a lawmaker from the ruling party the same year, ultimately stepping away from the sport to focus on his political career.
Shakib, who currently serves as Bangladesh’s regular captain in all three formats, is currently recovering from a finger injury that has forced him to miss the upcoming Test series against New Zealand. The injury occurred during a match in the World Cup against Sri Lanka, where Shakib made headlines with an unusual appeal against Angelo Mathews, resulting in international cricket’s first-ever timed out incident.