Shakib Al Hasan remains in limbo
The future of the suspended Shakib Al Hasan continues to be unclear despite an encouraging statement from the Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha.
Returning after a short break from Australia at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Monday night, Hathurusingha told reporters quite bluntly that the team needed Shakib, but later backtracked and said that he stood by the BCB's decision to ban the allrounder.
"He is the world's No.1 allrounder, isn't he? So we need him," Hathurusingha said. "I can't say anything more. It is an internal matter. I will speak to you all after I speak to the board."
With less than a month remaining before Bangladesh's departure to West Indies, the ball is now in Shakib's court, although it is still unclear whether an appeal can be based on a media release.
Since Tuesday morning, Hathurusingha has held a number of meetings with various BCB directors, the acting CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury, as well as the national selectors. Afterwards, he told the media that the focus was not on one individual, but the whole team.
"It is very unfair to think this way because there is another ten players playing. For me it is the Bangladesh team. Whoever replaces him or whoever comes into the team, I expect them to do their best. For me it's the Bangladesh team that is going forward.
"The board has made the decision, I am working with the board. We have to go by the board. I am here to make the players better and make the team better. Whatever I have to work with, I am doing my best."
Though some BCB directors have a view that the matter should be between Shakib and the board, others have reportedly told a local newspaper that they are waiting for the coach to weigh in on the issue.
When asked whether he would ask the BCB to reconsider the six-month ban, Hathurusingha refused to discuss the matter, stating that the entire episode was out of his control.
"That's an internal matter. I don't want to discuss in public. What we are doing is what we are doing. It's for the betterment of Bangladesh cricket as well as the betterment of the individual players. We will do the best for the Bangladesh team.
"What can you do? It is beyond my control. Whatever I have I am happy to work with and I am looking forward to it."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84