The BCB has granted Shakib Al Hasan the break he had requested from Test cricket, but for a shorter duration than the six months he had asked for. Shakib will be allowed to rest during Bangladesh's tour of South Africa, which begins later this month, though Akram Khan, the BCB's cricket operations chairman, has said he has the option of playing the second Test, "if he wants".
"Shakib wrote a letter to us asking for a six-month break," Akram said. "He can miss the first Test against South Africa but if he wants, he can play the second Test. He will not be traveling with the team but he can tell us what he decides to do."
Akram said that Shakib had made his request in order to prolong his international career. "We can't always be thinking about us," Akram said. "We should also keep his fatigue into consideration."
This will be the first time that a Bangladesh player will voluntarily miss a Test, but Shakib is one of the busiest players in the country's history, with T20 league commitments around the world to go with his international career. The timing of his request is interesting, though, coming soon after one of his greatest performances, when he scored an important half-century and took 10 wickets in a match for only the second time in his career to inspire Bangladesh to their first Test win against Australia.
Shakib has so far played 51 Tests and missed seven - four since becoming a regular member of the side. He had missed two Tests in Sri Lanka in 2013 due to an injury and two more in the West Indies in 2014 due to a suspension.