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SA vs Ban 2022 – ‘Board will decide when to give me rest’


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Latest update comes following sequence of meetings between the allrounder and BCB boss Nazmul Hassan

In yet another dramatic turn of events, Shakib Al Hasan has decided to tour South Africa with the Bangladesh team. He will now fly out from Dhaka on Sunday, in time for the ODI series that begins on March 18.

“I spoke to [BCB president Nazmul Hassan] Papon bhai for the last two days, when we planned the entire year. I am available for all three formats,” Shakib said in a joint press conference with Hassan and other board members on Saturday. “The board will decide when to give me rest, that includes the South Africa series. I am available for the SA series.”

Hassan explained that after the BCB had reacted to Shakib’s request for rest, because he was “physically and mentally fatigued”, by leaving him out of international cricket till April 30, the two of them met a couple of times to discuss the situation.

“Shakib is available for all the formats for the South Africa tour. If he skips a match in this series, please accept it. He wants to play. That is the most important thing”

BCB president Nazmul Hassan

“After reaching Dubai [for a personal engagement], Shakib told me he would make the final decision after speaking to me. Then he told us that he didn’t want to go to South Africa,” Hassan said. “We granted him leave, which was later announced to the media (on Thursday). Then, the day before yesterday, he told me he was mentally tired. It can happen to anyone at any time.

“He was having trouble making up his mind, so we supported him during this time. The board is always with them [the players].”

At that point, Hassan said, Shakib decided to make himself available. “Shakib is available for all the formats for the South Africa tour. He will travel to South Africa tomorrow. If he skips a match in this series, please accept it. He wants to play. That is the most important thing.”

The situation started to develop late last month when Hassan said, after Bangladesh’s third ODI against Afghanistan, that he had directed Shakib to tour South Africa to play both Tests and ODIs. This came in the wake of Shakib informing the BCB that he wanted to skip Tests for six months this year. After Hassan made his statement on February 28, the selectors named Shakib in both the ODI and Test squads for South Africa.

Shakib subsequently said that he was mentally and physically drained, and wasn’t in a position to tour South Africa. He told the media that he had appraised Jalal Yunus, the BCB’s cricket operations committee chairman, of his decision. After that, Hassan, as well as Bangladesh men’s team director Khaled Mahmud, responded by questioning Shakib’s commitment to the Bangladesh team, and on Thursday, Yunus announced that Shakib has been rested till April 30, which meant he would miss the South Africa tour altogether as well as the Dhaka Premier League.
Then, just yesterday, in perhaps a sign of things to come, Shakib, along with four other players, was handed an all-format central contract by the BCB.

The series in South Africa starts on March 18 with the first of three ODIs, and will be followed by two Test matches.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84



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