Shakib Al Hasan Takes the Political Pitch: Will Contest 2024 Elections
Bangladesh’s cricket sensation, Shakib Al Hasan, has ventured into the realm of politics, formally seeking a nomination from the ruling Bangladesh Awami League to contest in the upcoming general election on January 7, 2024. The cricket all-rounder, immensely popular among the youth, obtained nomination forms for three constituencies, with confirmation pending from the ruling party parliamentary board led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Despite facing a likely boycott by major opposition parties, Shakib’s political debut is marked by anticipation and support, particularly due to his celebrity status. Awami League joint secretary general Bahauddin Nasim emphasized Shakib’s widespread popularity and welcomed his decision to enter politics.
Shakib’s potential candidacy, which he hopes to confirm either in his home district of Magura or in the capital Dhaka, adds an intriguing dimension to the upcoming elections. Prime Minister Hasina, at the helm for the past 15 years, faces accusations of an iron-fisted rule, though she remains a strong contender for a fourth term.
Political engagement during an active cricket career is uncommon, but not unprecedented in South Asia. Former cricket captain Mashrafe Mortaza transitioned to politics in 2018, winning a seat as a lawmaker from the ruling party. Mortaza’s move from cricket to politics echoes in Shakib’s decision, emphasizing the evolving intersection of sports and politics in the region.
Shakib, currently sidelined due to a finger injury sustained during the World Cup, adds another chapter to his illustrious career by delving into the political arena. His journey into politics unfolds against the backdrop of Bangladesh’s vibrant cricket culture, where the sport serves as a powerful platform for societal engagement.
As Shakib Al Hasan navigates this new terrain, his political aspirations symbolize the evolving dynamics of sports and politics in Bangladesh, blending the realms of cricket stardom and civic leadership.