Bangladesh star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is all set to skip the South Africa tour, confirmed Jalal Yunus, the chairman of the cricket operation department of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).
“I have talked to Shakib today and asked about his plan. He said he is unfit mentally and physically. He is reluctant to tour to South Africa,” Jalal told the media on Wednesday.
He also said the board has decided to Shakib until the end of April.
“I along with the board president, CEO and other board directors decided to rest him as he has been suffering from mental and physical fatigue. He will now be out of all forms of cricket,” Jalal added.
It means the all-rounder might be available for the Dhaka Premier Divison Cricket League. Shakib is supposed to play for Mohammedan Sporting Club in this 50-over event in Dhaka.
“He told the media that he is not mentally fit to play now. Now can you force someone to play who is not fit? We had told him to take a few days to think more. He now told us that he is not set to play,” Jalal added.
BCB has recently announced two squads for the tour of South Africa where Bangladesh are scheduled to play a three-match ODI and two-match Test series. Shakib was part of the squads.
However, on Sunday, Shakib said he is not in a condition to play international cricket at the moment due to mental and physical fatigue.
At the same time, the 34-year-old all-rounder said he likes to focus more on white-ball cricket instead of red-ball cricket.
It’s not clear if Shakib will nbe available for all formats after this hiatus. “He will return home tomorrow (Thursday) from the UAE. After that, he wants to sit with the board to discuss further his future plan,” Jalal added.
This is not the first time Shakib is skipping a foreign tour. Earlier, he skipped the Test series in South Africa in 2017. He also skipped the last two tours to New Zealand, and he also skipped a series against Sri Lanka to take part in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Khaled Mahmud, the former captain of Bangladesh and the current board director, has recently said the senior players like Shakib, Mushfiqur (Rahim), Tamim (Iqbal), and Mahmudullah (Riyad) are at the end of their career, so the board should introduce new faces who could serve the nation for a longer time.
“We have to accept this truth,” he told the media on Tuesday. “If Shakib doesn't want to play, the board doesn't care about it. We have to bring new players to the fore.”