Despite a dramatic two-wicket win over Sri Lanka that took Bangladesh to the tri-nation T20I Nidahas Trophy final, verbal confrontations and the ensuing chaos hogged most of the attention when Shakib Al Hasan walked into the post-match press conference at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo yesterday.
"I don't want to talk about it, but what happened was that the square-leg umpire called a no-ball and after a discussion they cancelled it. I didn't think it was the right decision. I don't know what happened after the first ball, which was a bouncer, but after the second ball the umpire called a no-ball. We are all human, we should take it on the chin and move forward," the returning Bangladesh captain began.
"Many things happened that shouldn't have happened. I need to remain calm. I was overjoyed. Excitement was there. I must know how to react next time. I will be careful," said Shakib.
When questioned over the fiery rivalry emerging between the two subcontinent sides, Shakib responded: "A bit of needle is good for the crowd and journalists. It is good for cricket. Otherwise, we come, we play, we go. There is no spice in it. We Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans are used to having a lot of spice in our food. It is better to have this spice but only on the ground, not outside the ground," he added.
"My memory is not so sharp that I can remember so many years of cricket. It was one of the most exciting matches for Bangladesh. I thought it was terrific the way we kept our nerve. Sri Lanka batted really well after losing five early wickets. There was so much guts around the team; the way Mahmudullah played, it was terrific. I have never seen a Bangladesh batsman hitting the ball so well in limited overs cricket," effused a normally reserved Shakib.
When asked whether he had called Mahmudullah after the no-ball incident, Shakib denied it and said that he was in fact telling him to continue.
There were also questions about Shakib not coming to bowl and not introducing another left-arm spinner such as Nazmul Islam throughout the game since there were two left-handers at the crease and Shakib replied that as a captain he may be wrong on a few decisions out of a hundred.
"The last 10 days were a roller coaster. I went to Thailand and Australia, came to Sri Lanka, went back to Bangladesh and now I am back in Sri Lanka. I didn't think I would play today's game. I trained for just one day in Dhaka. [BCB president Nazmul Hassan] Papon bhai told me that if I could bowl, it would help the team. I could have gone on the safe side by saying I was not match fit, but I felt that it was an opportunity. [I thought] I may not contribute a lot but it may still help the team. Being the captain of a winning team is a big thing. Credit goes to everyone, including our bowlers. It was a 180-190 wicket but we bowled very well in the first 10 overs. T20 is unpredictable but the biggest satisfaction is the win," concluded the left-hander.
Sri Lanka batsman Kusal Perera, who had to be restrained by Tamim Iqbal at the end of the match, also refused to make any comments over the unsavory scenes at the end of the match but did say that Bangladesh players became emotional and wanted to win desperately. However, the left-hander did not seem to be upset.