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HomeBangladeshCricket Opinion: Has Shakib Al Hasan played his last Test?

Cricket Opinion: Has Shakib Al Hasan played his last Test?

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

Has Shakib Al Hasan played his last Test? Cricket Blog CricBlog Cricket Opinion

Bangladesh’s best ever cricketer, Shakib Al Hasan, is recovering from an extraordinary hand injury.

With a minimum of three months (and possibly up to twelve) on the sidelines, Shakib and those associated with assisting with his recovery have a task of getting his bowling hand back to 100%.

But, how did it ever get to this point? How was it allowed to? With management in the past also questioning some senior players’ desire to play Test Cricket for Bangladesh, have we seen the last of Shakib Al Hasan in the whites?
There is a good possibility we have.

Before more is explained on why we might have seen the last of Shakib in Tests, here is a timeline of Shakib’s injury that has caused a lot of grief. 

Timeline:

Shakib picks up injury in ODI Tri-Series Final

An ODI Tri-Series Final in January against Sri Lanka was an opportunity for Bangladesh to lift silverware in a multi-nation tournament for the first time in four attempts since 2009. Instead, it was a nightmare, losing the match comfortably, as well as their best player to a finger injury after a very awkward landing when trying to save runs.
There was a joint sprain that required stitches, which forced Shakib to miss the Tests and T20Is against Sri Lanka that followed. 
Has Shakib Al Hasan played his last Test? Cricket Blog CricBlog Cricket Opinion
Shakib Al Hasan left the field in lots of pain in January.

Shakib Al Hasan returns to captain the side in T20Is and Tests

All seemed well and good, with Shakib returning to captain Bangladesh in the Nidahas Trophy, the T20Is against Afghanistan and West Indies, as well as the nightmare Tests in the Caribbean. 

“I’m only 20-30% fit”

Shakib then took everyone by surprise, including Bangladesh Team Management, by claiming he was only “20-30%” fit ahead of their Asia Cup 2018 campaign. It didn’t matter though, as he was thrown in and asked to manage the injury.

From one farce to another

The timeline of events is rounded off with another farce, unfortunately a prevalent occurrence in Bangladesh Cricket.
Shakib was reportedly in unbearable pain ahead of Bangladesh’s crucial do-or-die clash against Pakistan in the Asia Cup. He was unable to even grip the bat, with swelling on his left hand forcing management to urgently get him out of the UAE and back home. The amount of pus in his left hand was extraordinary, even leading to BCB President Nazmul Hassan questioning how it could reach that point.
How could something like this happen? Who was helping Shakib manage this injury? As painful as the original injury was, there was fortunately no fracture. What seemed to be a minor finger injury turned into an infection that risked completely disabling Shakib’s hand and wrist. Instead of Shakib putting the hard yards for Bangladesh in their upcoming campaigns against Zimbabwe and West Indies, we could very well have seen the last of him in Tests, with his place at the 2019 World Cup also in doubt.
Who is accountable for this?
Has Shakib Al Hasan played his last Test? Cricket Blog CricBlog Cricket Opinion
Shakib’s little finger was strapped during Asia Cup 2018
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Where does Shakib’s career stand?

The infection is now under control, according to Shakib, with the possibility of avoiding surgery if the pain subsides. He is currently in Melbourne, on a dose of antibiotics, and it remains to be seen when he can go back to Bangladesh for rehabilitation.
It’s an unbelievable situation.
Even more concerning for huge Shakib fans like myself, who have seen him accomplish some incredible things in the Test format, is the possibility he might not play a Test again.
During Bangladesh’s awful Test series against West Indies in July, BCB President Nazmul Hassan claimed that Bangladesh’s senior players are reluctant to play Tests. Matching this statement with the total lack of fight from Bangladesh in the Caribbean during that series, the future of Bangladesh in red ball cricket was concerning.
“We are seeing in our country that some of our senior players don’t want to play Test Cricket,” said Hassan. “Shakib doesn’t want to play Tests. Mustafiz [Rahman] also doesn’t want to play, but he hasn’t mentioned it. He wants it to a point. Maybe since he is injury-prone, he feels he will get injured playing Tests? Maybe they feel Test is quite tough, say for someone like Rubel [Hossain]. Bringing in younger players is our only option.”
Parts of that statement by the BCB President could be considered rubbish, but remember Shakib Al Hasan made a peculiar decision to request rest for Bangladesh’s massive Test series in South Africa last year.
A series like that should motivate a top player to go and perform against quality opposition away from home, but Shakib perhaps believed the limited overs matches were more important. Bangladesh were thrashed in both Tests, missing Shakib significantly, in the country where he famously took 11 wickets in two innings back in 2008.
Now, with an injury that can keep him out for potentially six to twelve months, who is to say that Shakib, now 31, won’t officially hang up the boots in Tests to try and prolong his career as he manages this injury?
If he does indeed hang up the boots, it will be a huge shame that it ends this way. Without a doubt Bangladesh’s best ever cricketer, Shakib averages nearly 40 with the bat in 53 Tests, which also includes 196 wickets at less than 32 a piece. Just over a year ago, he put in one of the best individual performances in recent memory, scoring 84 and taking ten wickets to lead Bangladesh to a famous Test win over Australia.
If the end is indeed here, Bangladesh will have to urgently figure out what life after Shakib looks like in Tests.
Today, I sit anxiously waiting to see whether indeed the end has come. Today, I’m hoping for the best.
Thanks for reading!
P.S., I have partnered with the absolutely amazing team at onlinecricstore.com, the most comprehensive Online Cricket Store you’ll see. Find out more today here about how you can obtain discounts on any of 700+ cricket products!
Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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