BCB rests Shakib from international cricket till April 30



“Shakib wanted rest, we gave him rest,” says BCB; allrounder to sit out South Africa tour

The BCB has “rested” Shakib Al Hasan from all forms of international cricket till April 30. According to cricket operations chairman Jalal Yunus, the BCB considered Shakib’s plea for a break from cricket due to his mental and physical state.
The exemption, as the BCB later called it in a press release, covers Bangladesh’s tour of South Africa where they will play three ODIs and two Tests from March 12 to April 8. Shakib was initially named in both the squads but three days after the announcement, he said that he wanted a break from international cricket.

“Before leaving the country on Sunday, Shakib called me and said he is physically and mentally fatigued,” Yunus said. “He said that he isn’t enjoying cricket. I told Shakib that you since you just finished the Afghanistan series, you should take a couple of days to think about it. I called him today to ask about his plans. He maintained the same position. He wants to skip the South Africa series. We sat together with the board president, chief executive and a couple of other board directors. We have decided that in Shakib’s interest, since he is mentally and physically unfit, we want to give him rest from all forms of cricket, till April 30.”

Yunus said that they took into account Shakib’s current condition, his significance as a cricketer and the big tournaments coming up for Bangladesh. He, however, brushed aside the suggestion that Shakib will miss the Dhaka Premier League that begins on March 15.

“He is a very important player for us. He is an allrounder. We feel that we will need his service later this year, considering the T20 World Cup. He has asked for rest a number of times. Rest definitely means rest. We didn’t really consider what cricket he will miss during this time,” said Yunus.

He said that Shakib didn’t give them any hint of such a state of mind when BCB president Nazmul Hassan told him to tour South Africa for both formats.

“You can’t really force a player (into playing) when he is insisting that he is not physically and mentally fit. He didn’t say anything like this in Chittagong but he went to the media first about all this. You should ask him why he went to the media first. He should have told us before going to the media. Maybe it was the heat of the moment.”

Shakib will return to Dhaka on Thursday evening, after which he is supposed to sit with board chief Hassan, Yunus and the rest of the BCB high-ups to discuss his immediate future. Yunus said that Shakib no longer holds the position of not wanting to play Tests till mid-November, as he had mentioned during his press conference at the Dhaka airport on Sunday.

Yunus said that Shakib didn’t set a good example for the rest of the players, although he also said that the BCB has not made any future plans for Shakib or the other senior cricketers in the side.

“These are not good examples. There are 14 other players who follow the seniors who should give a positive vibe.

“The senior players are still playing well for the country. They have been serving the country for so long, so it’s not possible to take a sudden decision about them. Tamim decided after discussing his T20I plan with us,” he said.

Bangladesh will not be taking any player as Shakib’s replacement in the ODI squad that leaves Dhaka on Friday evening. Yunus said that they already have 16 players in the squad, and one of those who will travel in the Test side could be covering for Shakib if needed.


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