Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan has requested a six-month break from Test cricket ahead of the upcoming tour of South Africa.
The Bangladesh cricket board confirmed on Monday that the world No 1 all-rounder has handed in a letter of request, which will see him miss the two-match Test series against the Proteas.
‘Shakib has handed a letter to the board, seeking a break from Test cricket,’ Bangladesh cricket board spokesman Jalal Yunus said. ‘He said he will be available for other formats during this period, but he needed this break from Test cricket to refresh his body.
‘We haven’t yet made any decision regarding his request. BCB president [Nazmul Hasan] will make the final decision.’
Bangladesh have announced their squad on Monday for the South Africa tour, consisting of two Tests starting on 28 September, three ODIs starting on 15 October and two T20 games starting on 26 October.
Chief selector Minhajul Abedin commented on Shakib’s absence at the Tigers’ squad announcement: ‘I respect his decision, but of course it is very hard to replace him. ‘We have to take into account his mental state because as a player I understand what he may be going through physically and mentally.’
Seamers Subhasis Roy and Rubel Hossain were included in the squad, while batsman Nasir Hossain was dropped.
The Proteas are set to make their squad announcement after the first round of Sunfoil Series matches, which starts on 19-22 September.
Bangladesh squad: Mushfiqur Rahim (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah, Liton Das, Mehidy Hasan, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Subashis Roy, Mominul Haque