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May 30, 2012
Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh allrounder, has had only one day at home to sleep off the delirium of the Kolkata Knight Riders' maiden IPL triumph; he will play club cricket in Dhaka from Thursday. But he is not complaining, having revelled in the victory and the festivities that followed.
"It would have been better if I had played more matches [he played eight out of a possible 18], but for any team the ultimate goal is to become champions in any tournament," Shakib said. "I'm still very happy, because the IPL is a high-quality domestic tournament. It was good that I made some contributions in the team's success.
"The celebration after the victory and reception in Kolkata was amazing, and it's really something that was a new experience for me. [Franchise owner] Shah Rukh Khan was also over the moon, because the team didn't play as well in the last four tournaments."
Shakib was the only foreign player who attended the team's open-top bus parade in Kolkata, and the function at Eden Gardens where tens of thousands of fans turned up to celebrate. Though Shakib said he enjoyed every bit of it, his face was burned and his body is now pleading for a break.
There has been non-stop cricket for the world's No. 1 allrounder this year, and the three before that, and though he had wanted a break after the IPL, Bangladesh's summer schedule will keep him busy, running through to the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in September. With Knight Riders' participation in the Champions League T20 in October also confirmed, Shakib will have an extra tournament to contend with in his already jam-packed schedule.
"I will play Thursday's Premier League club match; it's good that we have Twenty20 matches before the [Twenty20] World Cup. But for me, what is needed most, is a break," he said. I'm not sure, but I might request the board for a break."
Bangladesh's Twenty20 series in Zimbabwe in June and then in Ireland in July mean that Shakib will miss the Friends Life t20 in England. Paul Grayson, head coach at Essex, where Shakib is contracted, told ESPNcricinfo that the club will miss him.
"Shakib had accepted an offer to play for us. The deal was agreed upon. We were hoping he would play Twenty20, CB40 [England's domestic 40-over tournament] and some [county] championship games, and that he would stay with us until the back end of August.
"It's very disappointing [not to have him]. He is the No.1 allrounder in the world, and he ticks a lot of boxes for us. Now we have found out that the BCB have not agreed to give him a no-objection certificate. They are trying to arrange a few things and they don't want to let him go."
Shakib is in much demand in the game's shortest version, but he says he is disappointed to not get a Test anytime soon. "We [the Bangladesh team] have forgotten what a Test is!" he said. "I don't think about it anymore, that will give me tension; I will feel bad if I think about it. Better not to think about it, and just play what's coming up." Bangladesh's last Test series was against Pakistan last December.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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