Bangladesh v England, 1st Test, Chittagong March 11, 2010

Raqibul's decision 'totally unexpected' - BCB

Cricinfo staff

The Bangladesh Cricket Board has issued a statement regarding Raqibul Hasan's emotional decision to retire from international cricket on the eve of the first Test against England, explaining that "the abrupt nature of this announcement has come as a shock to everyone concerned as this was totally unexpected."

It is thought that the root of Raqibul's anger lies in an apparent disagreement between the board and the selectors over his recall for the England Test series, and in his omission from Bangladesh's provisional squad for the World Twenty20. Cricinfo understands that the recommendation from above had been that Raqibul should be dropped for the Tests along with Mohammad Ashraful, whose form has deserted him in recent months.

Bangladesh's coach, Jamie Siddons, criticised the decision to leave Raqibul out of the Twenty20 squad, but highlighted his hopes for reconciliation between the board and the young batsman. "I don't know who he was trying to hurt or what point he was trying to prove, but I hope the BCB welcomes him back because he's a kid who's a bit confused," he said.

"He didn't like being dropped in the way he was dropped, then missing out on the 30 probables for the World Cup Twenty20 squad, which was probably bad selection, and he's really disappointed," Siddons added. "He thought he'd proved his point that he was good enough to be in that 30, which I think he is and then he walked away."

In a response to suggestions that selection disagreements were to blame, the BCB countered: "We take this opportunity to reiterate once again that selection of Test, ODI and Twenty20 Teams is based purely on performance and merit and is done at the discretion of the National Selection Committee which has its own criteria for picking players. Therefore, there is no scope for emotion in this regard.

"The Board understands that this was a unilateral decision on part of the player but also feels that it was rather premature," the statement continued. "We certainly do not wish to see a young talented cricketer like Raqibul leaving the game so early and hope that he will reconsider his position. Raqibul is an important member of the Bangladesh national team and it is our sincere expectation that he will return to mainstream cricket at the earliest."