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21 Mar 2021
Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has lambasted the operational chairman of the Bangladesh Cricket Board Akram Khan for not reading his letter ‘properly’ and misinterpreting his decision to play the next edition of the IPL instead of a Test series against Sri Lanka.
Shakib said that people talking about his decision to play the IPL have not read his letter properly and hence coming to a conclusion that he is not interested in playing the Test format for the country.
"Continuously people are talking about this Test. The people who are saying that I will no longer play the Test or don't want to play the Test haven't read my letter properly and that is it," Shakib said in a live chat to Cricfrenzy.
Shakib said that he had clearly mentioned that the move to prefer IPL was a one-time call to prepare for the World T20 while the Test series against Sri Lanka would not make any difference to Bangladesh’s rankings on the World Test Championship table. He added that he did not mention anything about his interest or lack of it towards Test cricket in his letter.
"I did not mention anywhere in my letter that I do not want to play Tests. I mentioned in my letter that I want to play in the IPL to prepare myself properly for World Cup but despite that Akram Bhai (Akram Khan, BCB cricket operation chairman) has repeatedly said that I do not want to play Tests," he said.
Shakib said that he would have walked away from any format other than the T20s as being with his IPL teams will allow him extra time on pitches where the World T20 matches have been scheduled to be played. He said that early exposure and being in rhythm before the big tournaments will start will be huge for the team and younger players.
"Even if there were an ODI series at this time, I would have done the same. During the IPL season, I wanted time so that I can prepare myself better. The ground where I will play IPL now will be the ground where I will play the World Cup match after four months. The players with whom I will play the IPL will be the players against whom I will play in the World Cup. For this reason, I will get more advantages than anyone else from Bangladesh, and it will also help me to share my experiences with the team that I will gain by playing in the IPL," he said.
At the same time, Shakib thanked BCB President Nazmul Hussian for coming to his rescue and allowing him to play in the IPL. Shakib said that when the administrators like Nazmul Hussain supports players it increases players’ confidence.
"I want to thank Papon Bhai (Nazmul Hasan) as I believe he has made the right decision, and I think that a player should have the liberty. I believe the cricketer's confidence increases if the board or BCB president backs up a player like this. And when a player represents the national team, the responsibility to do something good for the team also increases. We have to thank Papon Bhai for making the right decision from his place. However, Akram Bhai repeatedly said that I do not want to play Tests, which I have not mentioned anywhere in my letter," he added.
Shakib Al Hasan will go back to the Kolkata Knight Riders camp after missing the last campaign for the Sunrisers Hyderabad when he was serving a ban by the ICC for not reporting an approach made by bookies.