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Shakib intent on short break

Mohammad Isam

March 30, 2012

Comments: 85 | Text size: A | A

Shakib Al Hasan heads to the nets, Sher-e-Bangla, Dhaka, February 18, 2011
Shakib Al Hasan: "It's difficult to keep both going, batting and bowling. I feel that it is hard to concentrate on both in training." © AFP
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Players/Officials: Shakib Al Hasan
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Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh allrounder, is intent on getting a bit of rest from competitive cricket after the upcoming IPL, as he has not taken any substantial time off the game for more than two years. That could mean skipping a stint on the English county circuit this season, following his second season with Kolkata Knight Riders - the IPL ends on May 27, and Shakib is yet to firm up his county plans.

"The county cricket [stint] hasn't been confirmed yet. I still don't know if I would play [county cricket], even if I am fit," Shakib told ESPNcricinfo. "I haven't stopped [playing] for the last three years, so I am thinking that only if I get a 15 to 20 days rest after the IPL, I will go and play in England. If they [whichever county team he might sign with this season] tell me to go and join them straight after the IPL, I won't go, that's what I have planned."

Shakib has had only three major breaks from cricket ever since making his international debut in 2006. He had about three months off in 2008, a few months in early 2009 and, more recently, a break from mid-August to mid-October in 2009, between an away ODI series against Zimbabwe and a domestic Twenty20 tournament. Ever since, Shakib has risen significantly in world rankings and has grown in stature as an international cricketer by playing in the county championship for Worcestershire and the IPL for the Kolkata franchise. This apart, he has turned out in several domestic competitions in Bangladesh.

"I have played a lot of cricket, I need a break. I have some stuff of my own to take care of," Shakib said. "To play good cricket, one needs to stay away from cricket too."

Shakib is coming off a productive year, in which he averaged 44 with the bat and 29 with the ball in ODIs and 50 and 29 with bat and ball respectively in Tests. In Bangladesh's stirring showing in the just-concluded Asia Cup he made 64, 49, 56 and 68. However, he admitted that the responsibility on him as an allrounder was not always easy to deal with and that there is still room for improvement.

"Personally, I want to improve by finishing matches for the team," he said. "My bowling isn't going that well too. It's difficult to keep both going, batting and bowling. I feel that it is hard to concentrate on both in training. I have seen that if I take one discipline and work on it, it gets better. But to work on both is a bit difficult. It is a problem at times [as an allrounder], so there's a lot of room to work hard."

While he remained realistic about Bangladesh's chances in Test cricket and their plans for the immediate future, the success in the Asia Cup, he said, will help them think of themselves differently. "We may not win Tests [for now] because we haven't got the attack to take 20 wickets. We need genuine bowlers to take 20 wickets, but we will win one-day games. This [Asia Cup performance] has helped us set new goals. It is important that four or five players are performing [in the same game] for Bangladesh.

"I feel that at home we can handle teams a lot better than we can away from home. [Bigger teams like] India still have trouble [playing] away from home. So I think we should [first] become tough competitors at home so that in the next year or two, no one can come and whitewash us easily."

Mohammad Isam is senior sports reporter at the Daily Star in Dhaka

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© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

Comments: 85 
Posted by WickyRoy.paklover on (April 2, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

@FaizanFeroz,couldn.t agree to u more!vry well said. PLZ BANGALIS BELIEVE US WE HAVE SO MANY SHAKIB LIKE PLAYRS IN OUR DOMESTIC CIRCUIT SO HE Z BY NO MEANS ABOVE OR OVER OR EVEN EQUAL TO OUR STANDARDS.THATS UNFORTUNATE THT SO MUCH IMMENSE TALNT Z BEING WASTD HERE IN PAK DUE TO POOR SELECTION

Posted by   on (April 2, 2012, 5:25 GMT)

yeah the so caled best all rounder cant win matches for his team :P lmao comparing afridi with shakib ,, my bengali borthers held him in high esteem because they have never produced such a talent in their ciountry ,, u cant stop laughing at the fact that he is the best all rounder in the world hahahahaahah !! kallis watson afridi hafeez vetori r the and will always remain the elite all rounders ,, inida pak and SL produce players like shakib many a times like mathews raina and pak is a specialist in all rounders ,, i will compare shakib to paks malik .. both having the same records and yet tha latter doesnt belong in the team regularly !!

Posted by WickyRoy.paklover on (April 2, 2012, 5:11 GMT)

@getsetgopk,agreed!,@all bangalis,shakib has faltred big time twice against us while chasing meagre targets on flattest track in d world,i have no doubt in my mind that we pak r missing the trademark pacers in our line up which we have produced ovr d years bt even that avrage fastbowlng line up was gd enuff to curtail u bangalis,now whts use of shakib's avrage n ranking in that regard.AFRIDI Z BIG MATCH PLAYR WHILE SHAKIB HAS NO WHERE CONQUERD THAT SITUATN SO FAR As he z lucky enuff to b playng in minnows n playng against minows most of time

Posted by M_Rakibul_Islam on (April 2, 2012, 4:50 GMT)

@getsetgopk : Shakib's best Test innings 144 was against Pakistan & his 2nd best ODI innings 108 vs Pak in Pakistan. Shakib doesn't get any support 4m him team most of the cases but Afridi gets support 4m no.of greats. I agree BD is still a Minnow & PK is Giant. But Shakib is ahead than 25 years old Afridi. Probably Shakib will b much ahead than them all by age of 33/35. His improvement shows it.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2012, 4:45 GMT)

getsetgopk, you seriously don't follow cricket do you? Shahid Afridi WAS a good allr-ounder. Now he is a great bowler and a lower-order batsmen of sorts, nothing more than that! All-rounder? PFT! What a farce =)!

Posted by getsetgopk on (April 1, 2012, 18:31 GMT)

Anyone interested in some ultimate stats? The head to head count between Shakib and AFRIDI. Bangladesh and Pakistan played 31 ODI matches against each other, AFRID had 4 MOM awards all of them in winning causes, shakib has just one that too in a loosing cause. One of the benefit of playing for a minnow team is that you get to play against minnows like Netherlands and Bermuda, those records dont mean anything on the highest level, if you are that interested in who the better cricketer is then stack them up against each other and you shall see who the real tiger is.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2012, 18:04 GMT)

Btw i think we should wait another 4 or 5 yrs to compare anyone with anybody at least. cricketers who played for yrs are obviously far better in experience and in statistics for that simple reason; that they played for a substantial period of time and they are proven cricketers, there is no way you can compare a player with 100+ matches in his stats with a player of 300+ matches, at best we can say that this young man is showing lot of maturity and learning fast and if he can keep up the job done so far in future the lot younger generations can put him as an idol. And there is only one way to judge his advancement and maturity is by comparing the then Afridi who played as much games Shakib has played so far and then compare if this young man has surpassed what Afridi achieved at that level. even after that you cannot say clearly that yes this man is better than the other. try to remember that Afridi played for an already established team while Shakib is building one. that's all folks.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2012, 17:52 GMT)

@Azhar Nadeem ... I don't see it this way though ... yes money is obviously a factor to play for some other local tournament it be IPL or it be County, but the true fact should remain that yes this 25 yr old has been playing for a substantial period of time without any big gap to relax and mentally get recharged ... and since he is committed to Kolkata knight riders due to his contract with them, and the reason that India is a neighboring nation, he can take the risk to go there and play for a few more weeks and do something good both for his career and for his pocket. And in county he is not in any contract right now. And you also have to judge the distance between England and Bangladesh and also their weather condition. So it is safe to go to India and play T-20 for a while and earn some money and then come home at ease and take some rest.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

AFRIDI GREAT PLAYER NO DOUT

Posted by   on (April 1, 2012, 12:47 GMT)

AFRIDI IS GREAT PLAYER AS COMPARED TO SHAKIB,PAKTANIES ARE THE ROCKER YOU WILL SEE IN T20 WC IN SL

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