Shakib requests six-month break from Tests

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Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan, the world's leading all-rounder, had requested a six-month break from Test cricket ahead of the upcoming tour of South Africa, the country's board said on Monday.

"Shakib has formally written to the board with the request for some time off from Test cricket temporarily due to the demands placed on him physically and mentally from playing continuously in recent times", BCB CEO Nizam Uddin Chowdhury said in a statement.

The 30-year-old has been instrumental in Bangladesh's recent longer-version successes, be it the drawn series against England last year, his century in the victory in the 100th Test in Sri Lanka and his stellar all-round show in the recent maiden Test win over Australia.

Mahmudullah and Subashis Roy have been called up to the squad in place of Shakib and Nasir Hossain, while Rubel Hossain has also been added to an expanded group.

The Tigers Test skipper also informed that the South Africa tour will be a challenging one for Bangladesh, and opined that the players will have to show their character in the testing conditions.

Bangladesh's tour of South Africa will kick off on Sept 28 with the first Test in Potchefstroom.

Mahmudullah last played a Test against Sri Lanka in March
Mahmudullah last played a Test against Sri Lanka in March

"We still can not think of a team without Shakib".

Akram confirmed that the Bangladesh all-rounder had made the request in a bid to prolong his global career.

According to Cricbuzz, the BCB have confirmed about Shakib's wish to take a sabbatical while still continuing to play in limited-overs format for Bangladesh. "Until that arrives, we can always feel he is part of the Test squad", Minhajul said.

Shakib has so far featured in 51 Tests and missed seven - four since becoming a regular member of the side.

It will be the first time that a Bangladesh player will voluntarily miss a Test.

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