Whether or not Shakib is underrated can be a subject to your personal preference, cricket philosophy, and your geographic location. As Kimber (2019) writes, to the Bangladeshi fans he is the alpha and the omega, a 50-foot giant, a saviour, and a superhero, but to the casual cricket fans he is almost invisible. And this is probably a very accurate depiction of Shakib’s career and fame as a cricketer. In Bangladesh, you won’t meet a person who hasn’t heard of Shakib Al Hasan, and his teammates and coaches will always tell you that ‘One Shakib’ is equivalent to two players because Shakib serves as a top order batsman and a very dependable full-time bowler and his inclusion allows them to add an extra batsman or a bowler.
But further he goes away from home, so does diminish his value among coaching staff that are reluctant to keep him in the roster, and so fades his recognition among cricket fans. He has played in nearly every domestic T-20 cricket league and performed well on a consistent basis but somehow people are still often taken off-guard when they see Shakib’s name at the top of the all-rounders’ ranking. When Shakib scored 600+ runs and took 10+ wickets many people were shocked despite he has been tallying up runs and wickets for nearly a decade.
There is more evidence that Shakib is often undervalued by teams, and coaches. For example, Shakib has been invited to play in the high profile Indian Premier League (IPL) for the last eight years and one would think that a player who has never slipped below no. 3 in the T-20I ranking since 2014 would be highly sought after by every team in the draft. But that has not been the case – teams rarely fought over Shakib in the recent IPL auctions, to them Shakib is, at best, a useful role player. In the 2019 edition of the IPL, Shakib was sold at US$ 289,302, which is much lower than some of the other internationals with less impressive records at the international stage, such as, Dwayne Bravo (US$925,766), Shane Watson (US$ 578,604), Andre Russel (US$1 million), and Kieron Pollard (US$781,115). Ben Stokes who is currently ranked below Shakib in Test, ODI, and T-20I was sold at a value (US$1.8 million) six times higher than Shakib. And as the tournament unfolded, Shakib’s circumstances did not improve as he was chosen to play only in one game in the entire tournament by his team (Sunrisers Hydrabad).
Following is an illustration that compares Shakib’s records in T-20 Internationals to that of some of the most reputed all-rounders of our time including the ones mentioned above: