Bangladesh’s plan for forthcoming South Africa tour suffered a huge blow when star all-rounder Sakib al Hasan handed a request for six months of sabbatical from Test cricket, citing fatigue. Bangladesh Cricket Board media committee chairman Jalal Yunus confirmed the request from Sakib, adding that the final decision will be taken by board president Nazmul Hasan in this regard.
‘Sakib handed a letter to the board, seeking a break from Test cricket. He said he will be available for other formats during this period but needed a break from Test to refresh his body,’ said Jalal on Saturday over phone to New Age.
‘We are yet to make any decision regarding it. Our board president will make the final decision about him,’ said Jalal.
Bangladesh is expected to name their squad for today for the South Africa tour, where they will play two Tests, three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 internationals.
Chief selector Minhajul Abedin said he was unaware of any such request from Sakib.
‘So I far I don’t know anything about it. I have to see if he had given any letter,’ he said. ‘We will have another selection meeting tonight. If he gives any letter we will discuss over the matter there,’ he said around 7:00pm.
If Sakib goes ahead with the official letter and the board obliges, he will miss the two-Test series in South Africa and also the Tests against Sri Lanka at home in December-January.
The Tigers will begin their South Africa tour with two Test matches scheduled to start from September 28.
BCB insiders said the formation of the squad for the Test series will depend on the fate of Sakib’s letter. If the Board accepts his application, selectors must find at least two players- a batsman and a bowler to replace him.
The think-tank of the BCB were already in two minds over picking players on several spots, including right-handed top-order batsman in order to give the side some flexibility.
BCB president Nazmul Hasan on Friday indicated that he was in favour of picking Aanamul Haque for the Test series, though Minhajul refused to confirm the matter.
‘As of now we are not considering him,’ he said.
Coach Chandika Hathurusinghe and team management preferred Soumya Sarkar and Imrul Kayes more at the top-order and Sabbir Rahman in the middle-order although the trio could not fulfill the expectations in the last Test series against Australia.
Opener Soumya could only manage to score 65 runs in four innings at an average of 16.25 whereas make-shift number three batsman Imrul ‘s performance was even worse as he could score only 21 runs, same as spinner Taijul Islam in four innings against Australia.
Bangladesh played with five left-handed batsmen at the top-order in the first innings of Chittagong Test and they sent Nasir Hossain at number four in the second innings but the ploy did not work.
-With New Age input