Shakib to miss first Test against Proteas

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will allow allrounder Shakib Al Hasan to take a break from Test cricket, but not for six months as the player had requested.

The 30-year-old Shakib, who is the number-one ranked allrounder across all three formats, submitted a letter to the BCB saying wanted to miss the next six months in the longest format so he could prolong his international career.

The BCB confirmed that the player will be allowed to miss the first Test in South Africa later this month but will have the option to join the team for the second Test of the two-match series, if he wants.

Akram Khan, the BCB’s cricket operations chairman, said: “Shakib wrote a letter to us asking for a six-month break. He can miss the first Test against South Africa but if he wants, he can play the second Test.

“He will not be traveling with the team but he can tell us what he decides to do.”

The loss of Shakib, who has arguably been Bangladesh’s best player since he made his international debut in 2006, will be a big blow to the Tigers as they aim to build on their recent Test series draw at home against Australia.

Shakib picked up the man-of-match ward in the first Test against the Aussies when he scored a vital fifty and took 10 wickets in the game in Mirpur.

The left-handed batsman and left-arm spinner will be available for the limited-overs leg of the tour to South Africa where the Tigers will three ODIs and two T20Is.