Left-handed allrounder Shakib Al Hasan will play the first Test of the two-match series against Sri Lanka starting from Sunday, confirmed Mominul Haque, the Test captain of Bangladesh.
Shakib had tested positive for Covid-19 last week, and he recovered quickly as he tested negative on Friday. The allrounder joined the team on Friday evening.
“Shakib was spontaneous in the practice session this morning,” Mominul said in the pre-series press conference in Chattogram. “I don't think he has any reason not to play. He will play.”
Also read: Domingo reluctant to play ‘unfit’ Shakib
Until the confirmation from the captain, it was uncertain about Shakib’s availability for the first Test. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) officials have earlier hinted that the allrounder will not be playing the first Test.
Shakib was seen to have discussions with the coaches and teammates during Saturday's practice session. He was also seen as comfortable batting at the nets.
Shakib’s participation will surely boost the confidence of the Tigers ahead of a series which is important for them to gather some important points.
Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo had earlier said that he doesn’t want Shakib to play if the allrounder is not fully fit. But the comments of the captain proved that the coach is happy with the fitness that Shakib showed in the practice session.
Shakib missed Bangladesh’s last Test series against South Africa when he had to leave the team to join his family members who were hospitalized due to different illnesses. However, Shakib took part in the ODI series in South Africa and Bangladesh won 2-1.
This series is a part of the ongoing cycle of the ICC World Test Championship. Bangladesh played six matches in this event so far and won only one match against New Zealand earlier this year.