Shakib Al Hasan, the prominent Bangladesh all-rounder, has disclosed that he faced significant challenges during the 2023 World Cup due to blurred vision resulting from stress-related issues. This revelation comes after Bangladesh‘s disappointing performance in the tournament, prompting discussions about Shakib’s form and the team’s overall display.
“The insistence on not signing the central contract for these players was their involvement in commercial leagues, prioritising their personal interests over playing for Afghanistan, which is regarded as a national responsibility,” the board statement added. “By opting for their release, the Afghanistan Cricket Board has decided to take disciplinary measures against these players.”
Shakib, who came up with a tremendous all-round show during the 2019 edition of World Cup, making 606 runs apart from taking 11 wickets, was expected to lead from the front in the 2023 edition in India. But the ODI skipper, who missed two games of 2023 World Cup due to injury, had a mediocre tournament with the bat as he managed only 186 runs in seven matches at an average of 26.57.
Shakib was in the news after going back to Bangladesh in the middle of the tournament for a long batting session with his childhood mentor Nazmul Abedin. But that didn’t serve much help as the left-hander was constantly troubled by short deliveries during the tournament. There were certain times during the showpiece event in India when he was seen batting with remodelled stance, which was not quite the way he usually bats.
Cricbuzz learnt that he had blurred vision on one side of his left eye due to stress and it had a huge impact on his batting. “It is not in one or two games in the World Cup, rather I was having it (the eye problem) throughout the World Cup,” Shakib told Cricbuzz on Sunday (December 24) in his home town Magura where he is busy with parliamentary election campaign.
“It could have happened,” he said when asked if he was playing with one eye and batted possibly by assuming that that ball was coming a certain way. “I had huge discomfort facing the ball.”
According to medical science, the eye is considered an extension of the brain and so when stress affects the brain it also in turn affects the eyes and the vascular system. When stress hormones are released, they can directly impact vision. Chronic stress increases risk for high blood pressure and it thickens blood vessels while restricting blood flow to the retina. This is known as hypertensive retinopathy and the symptoms include double vision and blurred or reduced vision.
“The thing is that when I went to the doctor there was water in my cornea or retina and they had given me drops and told me that I have to lower my stress. I am not sure whether that was the reason (for my eye problem). But when I again checked in America (after the World Cup) there was no stress and I told the doctor there is no World Cup so naturally there is no stress,” said Shakib.
Shakib, however, is not ready to put captaincy as an excuse for excessive stress but said if he had got the ODI team earlier it would have been better for him. “Because I have done captaincy (I am not ready to put that as an excuse for stress). But if I had got that (captaincy) earlier it would have been easy because if I had time I could make everything ready and go there (for the World Cup),” he said.
“The problem I faced (as a captain) was that the team was not ready the way I was thinking or the philosophy through which I wanted to play. If you see not only during the World Cup but through 2023 our ODI performances were not good.”
Bangladesh was the first team to be eliminated from the from the 2023 Cricket World Cup after their sixth straight defeat. Bangladesh won only two out of nine matches, registering victories against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, Shakib insisted that though he is entering politics he is not ready to bid goodbye to cricket. He added that he won’t have any problems with BCB despite being in politics, which was the case with former skipper Mashrafe Mortaza after he entered politics.
“I think they (cricket and politics) can be managed. Managing time will not be a problem because I have done it in the past and can do it in future as well, and have full confidence on me to make that happen,” said Shakib. “I don’t think that will be the case with me (having any misunderstanding with the board) because I am straightforward.”
Shakib’s candid revelation sheds light on the complexities faced by professional athletes and the impact of external factors on their performance. As he continues his dual pursuits in cricket and politics, fans will be keen to see how Shakib manages these responsibilities and returns to form on the cricket field.