One of the most talented batsmen to have played for Bangladesh, Mohammad Ashraful’s career took a turn for the worse when he was suspended in 2013 for match-fixing in the Bangladesh Premier League.
Ashraful, who was 30 when banned acknowledged that Shakib’s case is different from his, and said Shakib needs to be protected from the local media.
Shakib, who was on Tuesday handed a two-year ban (one year suspended) for failing to report three corrupt approaches, including one at the IPL, was just before that the face of a players revolt against the cricket board.
"Our cases are different; he didn't inform the fixing approaches to authorities, while I was fully involved in match-fixing," he told ESPNcricinfo.
"But this is going to be a shock to the system. We love playing cricket. What Shakib is going through is hard to explain in words. I think there shouldn't be too much news about him. Dealing with so much news was hard [for me]."
"I slept through the first six months," he said. "I used to watch TV all night, and then wake up at around 2pm in the afternoon. I then performed Hajj, which gave me a new perspective."
"I always wondered whether I would be able to play again, mainly because of my age. The cricket board is helping Shakib. I got support but it wasn't what Shakib will get. Also we must remember that players like Mashrafe Mortaza, who was often injured, and Shakib have always made extraordinary comebacks."
Ashraful, who admits that he did not expect to hear news like this coming out of Bangladesh cricket after his instance, believes Shakib’s biggest challenge will be in staying fit through the banned period, but insists that since the all-rounder will be allowed to train, his situation is better in comparison.
"I wasn't allowed to play or train anywhere during the three years. I used to play with lawyers in Dhaka," he said. "I played in tournaments in the US where there were no sanctions. I played around the country in different places. I met new people, had new experiences. Shakib wouldn't have to go through anything like this. He will be allowed to train in Mirpur. He won't have any problem like I did."
"I felt bad. Shakib is the No. 1 all-rounder in the world. He is our best player. He plays franchise leagues. When I say Shakib made his mistake, I think he didn't take it [reporting approaches] too seriously. What also happens now is that everyone will be alert with these approaches. What to do when there's an approach. Nobody should make this mistake. We could never imagine that Shakib would make this mistake."