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Shakib in focus again after IPL decision

  • Published at 01:54 pm February 20th, 2021
Shakib al Hasan

BCB for its part said it is a player’s choice and that they do not want to force anyone to play for the national team

Shakib al Hasan, the poster boy of Bangladesh cricket, has found himself in hot water once again for his decision to play the Indian Premier League skipping national duty.

The ace all-rounder got picked by Kolkata Knight Riders for Indian Rupees 3.2 crore for the upcoming edition of the tournament.

Curiosity in the Bangladesh cricket fraternity grew large after Shakib’s selection in the players’ draft Thursday as it showed the former national team captain will be available for the full season.

Bangladesh are set to tour Sri Lanka in April for a Test series and the IPL is likely to take place at the same time.

Shakib however, did not make the discussion linger on for long as news broke of the 33-year old choosing to play the lucrative IPL over turning out for his nation in Tests.

There is a big divide in the Bangladesh fan base over Shakib’s decision; some are in support while many are against it.

In the cricket community there is also a fear brewing up, fear of a new culture developing in the coming days.

Cricketers preferring money-spinning tournaments are commonplace for many countries, with the West Indies and South Africa badly affected by this.

Shakib al Hasan will skip the forthcoming two-match Test series versus Sri Lanka in April in order to make himself available for the entirety of the IPL 2021 season, reports Cricbuzz.

Posted by Sports Tribune on Thursday, 18 February 2021

Often do we see big name Windies cricketers choosing to not go into a central contract with the board so that they can a remain free bird and take a break from the national team to play in different franchise leagues.

In South Africa, the deteriorating rand is paving the way for the Kolpak practice, where cricketers choose to play only the leagues around the globe and not get considered for national team selection.

Among the Bangladesh cricketers, there has always been a secret desire – if they would be excused to participate in top cricket leagues for one big reason, financial benefit.

Bangladesh has been one of the few cricket playing nations who set their international schedule without keeping the IPL in consideration.

But the culture, the negative impression that one will give to the Bangladesh Cricket Board and the fear of being called a “betrayer to the nation” always made the cricketers suppress their wish.

But now that the wall has been broken by Shakib, a big change in culture awaits Bangladesh cricket, believes a majority who have seen the cricket in the country grow. 

BCB for its part said it is a player’s choice and that they do not want to force anyone to play for the national team. 

The board would do the same for other cricketers too, which means left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman, if he applies, would also be issued a No Objection Certificate to participate in the tournament having been picked by Rajasthan Royals.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board Friday announced the squad for the national team’s upcoming tour of New Zealand.

Posted by Sports Tribune on Friday, 19 February 2021

The writer of this article contacted many veterans of the game in the country but as it transpired, none agreed to make a statement on-record on the issue, rather they spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“This is a big decision coming from the board. We are emotional when it comes to the nation so it must have taken Shakib good courage to come to such a decision, choosing to play franchise cricket and not for Bangladesh, and also in a format where we struggle the most (Test). Of course the team shall not be worried of missing out on a cricketer but the fear is of a new culture that has been triggered now,” said a former Bangladesh cricketer to Dhaka Tribune Saturday.

“We have just now played a second string West Indies because many of their players pulled out from the series citing Covid-19 situation and other concerns. But as we saw later, many of them went to play the Abu Dhabi T10 League,” he added.

The IPL, biggest franchise cricket league in the world, is one platform where not many Bangladesh cricketers appear.

In recent years it has only been Shakib participating in the tournament regularly, and lately Mustafizur, who is set to play his third season. 

But in the other tournaments, Bangladesh cricketers can easily make their way to the respective teams if they are available in the players draft.

Pakistan Super League, Caribbean Premier League and the recently introduced Lanka Premier League are tournaments where a good number of Bangladesh national team cricketers are highly likely to get picked. 

Now that the ice is broken and the BCB has taken a lenient stance, only time will tell if Bangladesh will soon play with second-string side as the big names will be unavailable and playing for a franchise instead.

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