While a majority of professional cricketers would be banging their heads against the wall after the pandemic forced the international calendar into a tizzy, suspended Shakib Al Hasan would be breathing relatively easy. In fact, he is set make his international comeback after his ban ends on October 29th.
Shakib Al Hasan could feature in the three T20Is when Bangladesh go to Sri Lanka later this year. The tour was due to start from June 24th, but was postponed due to COVID-19.
The originally scheduled 3-Test series might be cut down to 2, now that the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has requested for T20Is, in addition to the Test rubber.
One of Bangladesh’s all-time greats, Shakib Al Hasan was suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on October 29th, 2019 after he accepted three charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.
He had failed to report corrupt approaches on three different occasions – twice during a tri-series involving Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in January 2018 and once during IPL 2018. One year of that ban was later suspended.
Game time must for Shakib Al Hasan and Co.
However, the fitness of not only Shakib Al Hasan, but all the players is a cause of concern for Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo.
“We are hoping all the players are fit. Obviously, there are standards that they need to attain in terms of fitness level. We have to organise a bit of game time for Shakib, as well as for all the players,” Domingo was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
The players will definitely need some match practice before stepping onto the international stage.
“It is something that we have to discuss with the selectors. I don’t think he can play any official game before October 29, so all games that he plays have to be unofficial games. It might be inter-squad games but we need to have clarity if he is allowed to play that,” Domingo added.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Cricket chief executive Mohan de Silva said the two boards have agreed that the visitors will depart on September 24th.
Shakib Al Hasan , who is currently in the United States, is set to return to the country at the end of August and is expected to start training at Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishthan – the country’s largest sporting facility.