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Banned cricket hero Shakib auctions bat for Bangladesh virus victims

The winning bidder at the online auction Wednesday was a New York-based Bangladeshi

Banned cricket hero Shakib auctions bat for Bangladesh virus victims PHOTO: Reuters

Former Bangladesh captain Shakibal Hasan, banned in October for failing to report a match-fixing attempt, raised almost $24,000 for the country's coronavirus campaign by auctioning the bat he used to score 606 runs at last year's World Cup.

The winning bidder at the online auction Wednesday was a New York-based Bangladeshi, said Arif R. Hossain, co-founder of an organisation established to raise funds for charity.

"It was our first initiative. We are really happy by the response," Hossain told AFP.

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Shakib, once rated one of the best all-rounders in the game, was banned for two years last year for failing to report being approached by a match-fixing syndicate.

With one year of his ban suspended, he is due to resume international cricket in October 2020.

Hussain said the money raised would be given to a foundation started by Shakib Al Hasan, but gave no other details.

The auction came two days after more than 140 workers at a crab farm owned by Shakib staged a protest to complain about not being paid.

Defying a nationwide virus lockdown, the workers chanted slogans before being dispersed, police told AFP.

Revered in Bangladesh for his cricketing prowess, Shakib said he was not involved in the day-to-day operations of the farm but would take action.

"My co-owners and working partners failed to inform me properly of what was going on over the last few months," he said in a statement.

He said he paid the employees some 1.9 million taka ($23,000) on Wednesday.

Bangladesh has officially reported 4186 coronavirus infections and 127 deaths, but low testing rates have led health experts to believe the real figures are far higher.