According to Utpal Shuvro, Shakib “was fairly proficient [at cricket] and was often hired to play for different villages” In one of these matches Shakib impressed an umpire who arranged for him to practice with the Islampur Para Club, a team in the Magura Cricket League. During the practice session, Shakib batted aggressively and bowled fast, as he usually did, but also chose to experiment with spin bowling and proved effective. He was picked to play for Islampur and took a wicket with his first ball; it was his first delivery with a proper cricket ball, having previously generally played with a taped tennis ball. He spent six months training at Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan, a government-run sports institute.
In 2005, during the final of a tri-nation tournament involving England and Sri Lanka’s Under-19 teams, Shakib scored an 86-ball century and took three wickets to help his team to victory. Between 2005 and 2006, Shakib played 18 Youth One Day Internationals; he scored 563 runs at an average of 35.18, and took 22 wickets at an average of 20.18