Saturday, June 25

Shakib set for early return

Photo: File

Sports Report: Ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is all set to make a comeback to competitive cricket with the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League starting from October 10.

Shakib is serving a six-month ban for breaching the players’ code of conduct and was not considered for the upcoming West Indies tour, but the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is set to reduce his punishment in its executive committee meeting on August 25.

“We called a board meeting on August 25. I talked with everybody and it’s now almost confirmed that Shakib will play the Zimbabwe series. I took the opinions from the technical people, and they thought that if we don’t allow him (Shakib Al Hasan) to play the domestic league, then on what basis would he be considered for the Zimbabwe series?” said BCB president Nazmul Hassan Papon while talking to Maasranga Television yesterday.

Shakib was not drafted in the national pool because of his suspension but defending champions Gazi Tank have already revealed that they confirmed Shakib for the league along with dashing opener Tamim Iqbal and pacer Rubel Hossain.

BCB boss Papon started to speak positively on reconsidering Shakib’s punishment ever since the all-rounder appealed to the board for a reduction on his ban, and according to sources national coach Chandika Hathurusingha also wants Shakib to return for the Zimbabwe series as the World Cup will be pretty close by then.

Zimbabwe will arrive in Dhaka on October 17 to play three Tests and five ODIs and the tour will start with the first Test from October 26.

In the first week of July, the board slapped the ace all-rounder with a six-moth ban from all cricket and decided against issuing him NOCs for foreign tournaments for 18 months because of disciplinary indiscretions.