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Shakib out of New Zealand Tests after BCB grants leave

  • Sports Correspondent,
    Published: 2021-12-06 17:47:25 BdST


Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has stepped out of Bangladesh’s tour of New Zealand citing family reasons, the Bangladesh Cricket Board says.

BCB President Nazmul Hassan Papon on Monday confirmed that Shakib, who is ranked fifth in the Test all-rounders rankings, was granted a leave and will miss out two Tests against the Kiwis, which is part of ICC’s Test Championship, in January next year.

“We have to allow players to rest if they need it, regardless of whether he is crucial to the team or not. But Shakib is not injured, neither did he ask for leave to rest. He sought it citing family issues. So it is different,” Papon said.

The board chief, however, mentioned that such leaves would be granted on the condition of applying earlier from January, so the matter remains “official”.

“We have been stressing upon getting informed beforehand. It becomes an issue when the request comes right before a series. [Applying earlier] will allow us to prepare other players.”

Shakib was included in the 18-strong team announced by the BCB on Saturday, though there were hearsays about the allrounder seeking a leave.

On whether the matter of Shakib’s last-minute pullout from the series was embarrassing for the board, Papon said, “Not at all. We knew his request unofficially. The thing is everything has been happening unofficially until now. We are leaning towards new rules to avoid confusion and for transparency.

The team will fly for New Zealand on Dec 9 for a five-week tour, which includes seven days in quarantine and two warm-up games.

This, however, is not the first instance of Shakib pulling out from a series as he also opted out of the New Zealand tour in March this year citing the same reason. The 35-year-old southpaw also sat out the Sri Lanka tour which followed to prepare for the T20 World Cup..

In 2018, the BCB granted him a 6-month leave when he missed out on a trip to South Africa.

The Tigers will be without the services of ODI skipper Tamim Iqbal as he is recovering from an injury.