BCB president Nazmul Hassan questions Shakib Al Hasan’s commitment

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“If he was in a poor physical and mental state, he wouldn’t have given his name in the IPL auction”

“I think it is logical to think that if he was in a poor physical and mental state, he wouldn’t have given his name in the IPL [auction],” Hassan said. “But he went ahead with it. So, does it mean that if he got his IPL contract, he would have said the same thing? We can’t do anything if he doesn’t want to play [for Bangladesh]. But he can’t keep saying I will play this game, I won’t play that game. We are soft on those who we love, but they also have to be professional. Otherwise we will have to take decisions that no one will like.”

Shakib had initially informed the BCB that he wants to only play the white-ball formats for the most part of 2022. He made himself available for the IPL during Bangladesh’s Tests against South Africa in March and April, but after he wasn’t picked up by any of the franchises, the BCB assumed that he’d be available for the forthcoming South Africa Tests.

After the third ODI against Afghanistan last week Hassan claimed that Shakib agreed to tour South Africa for both the ODIs and Tests. Shakib was picked in both squads but on Sunday, he said that he needed a break. He 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 tour.

Hassan said that the players have been asked to inform the board beforehand if they want to skip playing a particular format. Tamim Iqbal dropped out of the picture for last year’s T20 World Cup, and has recently said that he doesn’t want to be considered for this year’s edition too. Mahmudullah, meanwhile, retired from Test cricket in the middle of the one-off match against Zimbabwe last July, drawing Hassan’s ire.

“I have been clear with everyone that they must inform us beforehand if they don’t want to play a particular format,” Hassan said. “But they shouldn’t do all this. It is not desirable.

“What Riyad did was totally unacceptable. He had come to my house to tell me that he is available for all three formats. Tamim had informed me [about his decision to opt out of T20Is].”

Shakib had also skipped the Test series in New Zealand last month; 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 the tour of South Africa in 2017-18 and then he skipped the Sri Lanka Tests last year due to his IPL commitments.

Since the start of 2017, Shakib has played only 15 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.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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