Shakib to be available for South Africa Tests: BCB Chief

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hasan on Monday said that ace all-rounder Shakib al Hasan will be available for the upcoming two-match Test series against South Africa, beginning March 31 in Durban.

Earlier, Shakib, 34, had made himself unavailable for the two-match series due to the impending clash of the series with the upcoming 15th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 however, he has now agreed to participate after not being picked by any of the franchise in the recently held player’s auction.

“Shakib will be playing the Tests in South Africa. He had given us a letter that he wanted to skip Test cricket for six months due to the IPL, but we asked him to be available for the home series against Sri Lanka and he agreed,” said Nazmul.

“He wanted to skip the series as he wanted to play in the IPL but now since he is not going [for IPL], he will play travel to South Africa. Today I told him that I will talk with him regarding his future plans after he returns from South Africa, and he’s agreed,” he added.

Notably, the announcement came just hours after the BCB cricket operation chairman Jalal Yunus told media that they are keen to sit down with Shakib to prepare his future plan.

“Basically we will ask him for his plan for this year. There have been media reports that he doesn’t want to play Tests, but we know that he wants to play Tests,” said Jalal.

“It’s not a matter of pick and choose. He might have some problems, so we will consider him if he tells us that he wants to play a certain number of matches in a format. Nobody is bound to play every match. The BCB is not an organization where we consider players as mere employees. They are also stakeholders. They have the freedom to discuss how many matches they want to play,” he added.

Earlier in February, Cricket South Africa (CSA) had announced that Bangladesh will be touring South Africa for three ODIs and two Tests in March.

The matches will be played between March 18 to April 12 across four venues. While the SuperSport Park will host the first and the third ODI of the series, the Imperial Wanderers will be the venue for the second match of the series.

The two teams will then move to Durban for the Test series. While Kingsmead will host the first Test from March 31, St. George’s Park Cricket Ground in Gqeberha will host the second and final Test from April 8.

The tour is of great significance for the hosts, as both series count for vital points in the ICC Cricket
World Cup Super League and the ICC World Test Championship.

A Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) official said the tourists are expected to stay in Johannesburg during the tour.

After hosting the Bangla Tigers, South Africa’s next international commitment will be a away series with India. South Africa will be touring India for a five-match T20I rubber in June, which will be after the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The five matches of the T20I series will be held on June 9 (MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai), June 12 (M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru), June 14 (Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur), June 17 (Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot, Rajkot) and June 19 (Arun Jaitley Stadium, New Delhi).

Bangladesh Tour of South Africa Schedule:

1st ODI – Friday, March 18 13:00 Local Time, SuperSport Park, Centurion

2nd ODI – Sunday, March 20, 10:00 Local Time, Imperial Wanderers, Johannesburg

3rd ODI – Wednesday, March 23 13:00 Local Time, SuperSport Park, Centurion

1st Test – Thursday, March 31 – April 4, 100 AM Local Time Kingsmead, Durban

2nd Test – Friday, April 8 -12, 10:00 AM Local Time, St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth

News Desk

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