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Shakib Al Hasan allowed to take short break from Test cricket

The Bangladesh Cricket Board, however, expects Shakib Al Hasan to return to the side from the second Test against South Africa onwards.

cricket Updated: Sep 11, 2017 18:56 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Shakib Al Hasan,Bangladesh national cricket team,Bangladesh Cricket Board
Shakib Al Hasan had asked for a Test cricket sabbatical to prolong his career. (AFP)

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has allowed Shakib Al Hasan to take a break from Test cricket, but not for as long as he had applied for. The star Bangladeshi all-rounder wanted to stay off Test cricket for six months, but the country’s board has allowed Shakib a break from the upcoming tour of South Africa.

However, the BCB has also dropped in a word to the venerable cricketer that if he wants, he can show up for the second Test against South Africa, while ruling him out completely for the series opener.

Bangladesh are set to play two Tests, three ODIs and two T20Is in South Africa from September 21 to October 29. Bangladesh will also play two tour matches in South Africa. The first Test will be played at Potchefstroom from Septmber 28 to October 2. The second and final Test of the series will be played from October 6-10 at Bloemfontein.

According to ESPNCricinfo, former Bangladeshi cricketer and current chairman of BCB’s cricket operations, Akram Khan, has said Shakib can play the second Test in South Africa ‘if he wants’.

Akram said, “Shakib wrote a letter to us asking for a six-month break. He can miss the first Test against South Africa but if he wants, he can play the second Test. He will not be traveling with the team but he can tell us what he decides to do.”

“We can’t always be thinking about us. We should also keep his fatigue into consideration,” the cricketer-turned-administrator said.

One of the busiest cricketers in Bangladesh, Shakib remains a key part of several T20 league teams around the world.

At the same time he is Bangladesh’s biggest match-winner too. In the opening Test against Australia in the recently-concluded Test series, Shakib’s all-round performances powered his team to a historic win at Mirpur.

Earlier, on Sunday evening, reports claimed that Shakib had requested the BCB to allow him to take a break from Test cricket for six months. The BCB had asked the all-rounder to send them an application, and if approved in entirety, Shakib would have also missed Bangladesh’s home Test series against Sri Lanka.

First Published: Sep 11, 2017 11:35 IST