Shakib Al Hasan broke his silence over him allegedly ‘choosing IPL over Tests’ and insisted that, in his letter, he had clearly mentioned that he preferred to play in India only so that he can prepare for the upcoming WT20. Shakib alleged BCB’s Akram Khan of spreading a false narrative.
Controversy broke out last month when it was revealed that Shakib Al Hasan had opted to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) over Bangladesh’s Test series versus Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh Cricket Board's cricket operation chairman Akram Khan added fuel to fire by publicly stating that the all-rounder ‘was not interested in playing Test cricket’. Khan’s comments created a furore and led to many fans turning on Shakib for allegedly choosing money over the country. That Shakib went on paternity leave to miss the New Zealand tour didn’t help his cause either, as it helped many push the narrative that the 33-year-old was not too keen in representing his country.
However, a month on, the all-rounder has finally broke his silence on the issue. Shakib, who was purchased for INR 3.2 crore by Kolkata Knight Riders, slammed Khan for misquoting him and insisted that, in his letter, he had clearly mentioned that he chose to play in the IPL not because he was disinterested in Test cricket, but because he wanted to prepare for the World T20.
"Continuously people are talking about this Test (skipping the series against Sri Lanka). The people who are saying that I will no longer play the Test or don't want to play the Test haven't read my letter properly and that is it," Shakib was quoted as saying in a live show on Cricfrenzy platform on Saturday, reported Cricbuzz.
"I did not mention anywhere in my letter that I do not want to play Tests. I mentioned in my letter that I want to play in the IPL to prepare myself properly for World Cup (T20 World Cup) but despite that Akram Bhai (BCB cricket operation chairman) has repeatedly said that I do not want to play Tests.
"Maybe he also said this in an interview yesterday. I guess he didn't really read my letter properly. And whatever decisions they have taken, I believe that they have taken it after discussing among themselves.”
As things stand, Bangladesh are scheduled to play two Tests in Sri Lanka next month, starting April 21, and partaking in the series would have meant Shakib missing a good chunk of the IPL, which will commence on April 9. The 33-year-old said that he would have opted to play in the IPL even if the BCB had scheduled ODIs versus the Lankans. Shakib said that, ultimately, playing matches in India will help him prepare for the WT20 better and added that it would also help him to impart a great deal of knowledge to his teammates.
"Even if there were an ODI series at this time, I would have done the same.During the IPL season, I wanted time so that I can prepare myself better. The ground where I will play IPL now will be the ground where I will play the World Cup match after four months.
“The players with whom I will play the IPL will be the players against whom I will play in the World Cup. For this reason, I will get more advantages than anyone else from Bangladesh, and it will also help me to share my experiences with the team that I will gain by playing in the IPL.”