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Unhappy Mushfiqur respects Shakib’s decision

Bangladesh Test captain Mushfiqur Rahim admits he is not happy that Shakib Al Hasan decided to skip the upcoming Test series in South Africa, but respects the allrounder’s decision.

Shakib, who is the number-one ranked allrounder across all three formats, will miss the two-match Test series against the Proteas, starting later this month, after his request to take a break from Tests was granted by the Bangladesh Cricket Board.

The 30-year-old Shakib has arguably become his country’s most important player since he made his international debut in 2006 and Mushfiqur expressed his dissatisfaction when asked how he felt about his star player’s decision.

Mushfiqur told The Daily Star: “Obviously I am not happy, being the captain of the side.

“But as he asked for a break to have some rest from his workload, that’s his personal decision which I also respect.

“At the same time, if he was injured we would have had to play without him, so that’s part of life.”

In the absence of Shakib, Bangladesh recalled experienced batsman Mahmudullah Riyad into the 15-man Test squad for the trip to South Africa.

The 31-year-old Mahmudullah, who has played in 33 Tests, was dropped from the longest format in March after a poor run of form and was not included in the squad for the recent two-match series at home against Australia, which the Tigers drew one-all.

Mushiqfur continued: “The inclusion of Riyad Bhai will add some experience to our side as he is a very seasoned campaigner for us.

“But still I would say Shakib is Shakib, and we are going to miss him badly.”