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Bangladesh’s starred all-rounder and the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) recently went through a patch of indecisiveness that spanned over a number of episodes. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the 34-year-old’s performance took a dip after the ICC World Cup 2019 and coupled with a short ban and injuries, things aren’t going so well for Hasan.
What happened between Shakib al Hasan and BCB?
In the recent happening, the left hand-batter was named in the squad by the BCB for an ODI and Test series tour of South Africa, after he confirmed his availability. As the days grew closer, the all-rounder told the cricket operation of the board Jalal Yunus that he wants to opt-out of the tour, international cricket to be specific. He cited mental and physical exhaustion and a break would rejuvenate him, especially for the upcoming World Cups.
To quote his own words, “Considering my mental and physical state, I don’t think I can play so much international cricket. If I get a break, if I get my interest back, I can play with more ease,” But when Shakib added that he did not enjoy the recently concluded home series with Afghanistan where the hosts won the T20I trophy and managed to draw the ODIs, it really irked the Board’s chairman. “I was like a passenger in the Afghanistan series, which is never desirable. I didn’t enjoy the ODIs and T20Is.” was stated by the batter.
Chairman Nazmul Hasan was quick to lash at the former skipper for his demands and remarks and issued a statement the very next day, questioning his intentions of showing loyalty to his country and also terming him ‘mentally disturbed.
“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. Would he (Shakib al Hasan) have said the same thing if he was picked in the IPL? Would he have said that he is mentally exhausted?” It is pertinent to mention here that Hasan went unsold in the IPL mega auction that went live in February.
But regardless of what happened, the left-arm bowler was granted rest till April 30th from all forms of international cricket. Not only his wishes were granted but the ace cricket player managed to bag an all-format contract for season 2022 just a day later. The Southpaw made the cut despite a fall in form from many months.
Seems like a fairytale ending but there is more to story here. Two days after getting his desires fulfilled and even more, Shakib al Hasan declared that he doesn’t need a break anymore and will fully participate in the South Africa series starting from March 18. According to him,
“I spoke to [BCB president Nazmul Hassan] Papon bhai for the last two days, when we planned the entire year. I am available for all three formats. The board will decide when to give me rest, that includes the South Africa series. I am available for the SA series,”
It is still unclear as to what happened to him overnight, but whatever it was, it sure has refreshed the player, erasing any mental and physical fatigue that was bothering him earlier. Perhaps its the new contract but we’ll never know for sure.