Shakib Al Hasan has criticised the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) for misinterpreting his letter concerning approval to play in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Shakib, who opted out from the ongoing tour to New Zealand, said his main focus was to prepare for the approaching T20 World Cup, scheduled to take place in India later this year.
The veteran Bangladesh all-rounder reckoned that the two matches against New Zealand are part of the World Test Championship (WTC), which are not so crucial as Bangladesh are already at the bottom of the competition’s points table.
Speaking to Cricfrenzy, Shakib said: “These two Tests are our last matches in the World Test Championship, so it is not as if we are going to play the final. We are at the very bottom of the points table. I don’t think it makes much of a difference.”
“The other major reason is that the World Cup T20 is in India later this year. It is a very important tournament where we have much to achieve. There isn’t much to achieve in these two Tests. I think it is a better option that I prepare myself for something bigger,” he added.
Shakib asserted that his letter to the BCB was clearly focused on his plan to prepare for the T20 World Cup, but the board’s cricket operations chairman, Akram Khan, misrepresented it and kept on saying that he didn’t want to play the Test matches.
“Those who keep saying that I don’t want to play Tests, I am sure they didn’t read my letter. I didn’t mention anywhere in my letter to the BCB that I don’t want to play Tests. I wrote that I want to play the IPL to prepare myself for the World Cup. Akram bhai especially has repeatedly said that I don’t want to play Tests. People should have a clear idea that I wanted to play the IPL even if ODIs were scheduled during this time,” the 33-year-old clarified.
Shakib also lambasted his country’s cricket board for staging international fixtures during IPL. He said no other board does this as players earn valuable experience while playing in the biggest T20 league. The left-hander claimed that by doing so, BCB had given less value to their own cricketers.
“No other cricket board holds international matches during the IPL. Only we are playing against Sri Lanka. Do you ever see any Afghanistan cricketer playing for their country during the IPL? Their board makes sure the players are free to play in the IPL. If we don’t value our own players, how can you expect us to perform well when playing for Bangladesh? “ Shakib added further.