Ace all-rounder Shakib al Hasan has urged the Bangladesh Cricket Board to give him a break from international cricket so he can recover physically and mentally, hinting at his withdrawal from South Africa tour starting March 18.
Shakib has been named in Bangladesh’s squads for the three ODIs from March 18-23 and the two match Test series from March 13 to April 12. BCB’s cricket operations chairman Jalal Yunus said earlier this week that he is confident Shakib will be part of the entire tour after speaking with the southpaw after the third ODI against Afghanistan.
“Given my mental and physical condition, I don’t think I can play that much international cricket,” Shakib said on Sunday, before leaving for Dubai for personal work.
“If I get a break, if I get my interest back, I can play more easily. I was like a passenger in the Afghanistan series, which is never desirable. I didn’t enjoy the ODIs and T20Is. I don’t “I think I have to be in South Africa tour with such mentality. I want to meet everyone’s expectations when I play. There is no guarantee of my best performance, but at least I know I tried my hardest for the country. I don’t’ I don’t want to waste time or anyone’s place. Playing this way, as a passenger, will be like betraying or cheating on my teammates and the country,” he added.
Shakib said he has spoken to both Yunus and BCB president Nazmul Hassan about playing the tour, but he is unsure given his situation.
"I have informed Jalal Bhai who said I should think about it for a few days. I expect a decision after that. I had spoken with Papon Bhai before that I will play both series but I have thought long and hard since the game yesterday. Looking at my mental and physical condition, I need some time. I could skip the ODI series to play the Tests in better physical condition,” he said.
The Shakib was expected to skip the Test series to play in the 2022 Indian Premier League, which starts on March 26. However, the 34-year-old remained unsold during the mega sale in February. Shakib rejected speculation that he would quit Test cricket.
“I didn’t want to leave Tests completely, but as we find a bit of balance in the Test side, I felt that if I focused on the cue, given my age and physical fitness, I could have done better in ODIs and T20Is “I think it’s better if I know the long-term plan about me. There’s no point in thinking series by series,” he said.