Shakib Al Hasan has been playing international cricket since August 2006 and has missed only seven of Bangladesh's 58 Tests since his debut. One of the complaints Bangladesh fans often have is that their side plays far fewer Tests than other teams, which makes Shakib's decision to take a break from the format surprising. But it is his workload across formats, the highest among Bangladesh players since his debut, that has probably led to his request for a rest. Apart from his international commitments, he is a much sought-after player in franchise T20 cricket and has plied his trade for as many as eight sides across six competitions. Also, he is a genuine allrounder who bats high up the order and bowls a large percentage of overs.
How does Shakib's workload compare with top allrounders since his debut?
Since his Test debut, Shakib has played more than 750 days of top-flight cricket across formats. Among allrounders current playing international cricket across all three formats, only Angelo Mathews and Moeen Ali have played more days of top-level cricket. If the criteria is narrowed down to international cricket, only Mathews has played more. A number of other cricketers, such as MS Dhoni, AB de Villiers, Kumar Sangakkara, James Anderson and Alastair Cook have been on the field for much longer, but they have all since given up on from one format or the other, or, in Sangakkara's case, retired from the international game.
If we widen our filter to include all active international cricketers - allrounders or otherwise - playing all formats, Hashim Amla, Virat Kohli and David Warner have all played more than Shakib. The soon-to-return de Villiers, who, like the most of the others on this list, is a highly sought after T20 batsman, has also played nearly 50 days of competitive cricket more than Shakib since the Bangladesh allrounder's debut.
Is Shakib Bangladesh's most overworked cricketer?
Yes, there is a definite case to say so. Apart from being their only allrounder to regularly play all three formats for over a decade, Shakib's T20 commitments increase his workload in contrast to the other two senior players in the side - Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim. Mushfiqur, whose workload has included keeping wicket for the best part of his career, comes a close second, with over 720 days of top-level cricket since Shakib's debut.
How has Shakib's recent workload been?
Since 2015, Shakib has represented as many as seven franchise T20 sides, across five different competitions. Among the world's top five allrounders, his franchise T20 workload has been the highest, having played as many as 73 matches across these competitions. While he has played each of Bangladesh's 14 Tests in this period, that is by far the lowest in the field and is just over a third of Moeen's 37 Tests. Among players who made their debut around the time Shakib burst on to the international scene, Shakib, along with captain Mushfiqur, remains among the rare ones to still be playing all three formats.