Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hasan has hit back at Shakib Al Hasan after the latter's request for a break from international cricket. Nazmul has questioned Shakib's commitment, asking whether he would have wanted a similar break from the IPL had he been picked in the 2022 auction.
Star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan had initially informed the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) that he wants to only play the limited-overs formats for the most part of 2022. He made himself available for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) during Bangladesh's Tests against South Africa, scheduled to take place in March and April. However, after not being picked up by any of the franchises, the BCB assumed that he would be available for the South Africa Test series.
Reacting to that, BCB President Nazmul Hasan said that he was surprised with Shakib’s request as the all-rounder had ‘promised’ to play against South Africa. “It is surprising to be honest. I don't know what he is saying now but his last conversation with me was in Chattogram where he said he would play and that's all I know," Nazmul told Cricbuzz.
"If he (Shakib) is not willing to play please tell us but it becomes difficult if he informs us at the last minute, then it becomes a problem. We made the plan for South Africa keeping him in mind and now when he says things it does hamper our planning. Members of the coaching staff and the team management are not sure what is happening. Would he have said the same thing if he was picked in the IPL? Would he have said that he is mentally exhausted?" Nazmul questioned.
Further, Nazmul added that there is a doubt whether Shakib is enjoying the game or not in national colours, and opined that he could be in a mentally disturbed state. "I think he is mentally disturbed. What I feel is why won't he enjoy playing against Afghanistan because we had beaten them and if any cricketer is not enjoying the success of his team, then it is a big problem,” he stated.
Shakib was picked in both Test and ODI squads for Bangladesh but on Sunday, March 6. Initially, he said that he needed a break, and indicated to the BCB that he could opt out of the ODI series, so that he can come back mentally and physically fresh for the Test series in the same South Africa tour.
Last month, Shakib had also skipped the Test series in New Zealand. It was the third time he took leave from a series for ‘personal reasons’. The first time he took such a leave of absence was during Bangladesh’s tour of South Africa in 2017/18, and then he skipped the Sri Lanka Tests last year due to his IPL commitments with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
Since 2017, Shakib has played only 15 out of the 33 Tests Bangladesh have played, the reasons for his absences including injury, his one-year suspension for not reporting a corrupt approach, and personal leave.